Foodbank steps up service for seniors

By Erica Quednau |

Published 05/08 2014 04:38PM

Updated 05/08 2014 05:20PM

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- The area has a fairly large population of seniors who need help getting food. That's why the Eastern Illinois Foodbank is stepping up to feed them. The foodbank serves about 12,000 seniors each year. More than 13% of them say they go hungry every day.

Thursday, the foodbank unveiled its plan for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank Senior Grocery Program. It will focus on getting food to older people in the fourteen counties it serves.

Currently, two programs help feed seniors in the Champaign-Urbana area; Food for Seniors and the Washington Square Senior Grocery Program. For now, the foodbank will focus on giving more food to them to pass out as well as providing nutritious options.

But, in the long run, it hopes to create more pantries focused on the golden generation. The foodbank got $40,000 from the Community Foundation and Brash Fund. It will help pay for the new senior-centered program.

In a study from 2010, 30% of seniors who rely on food pantries say they have to choose between eating and medical care. Going hungry takes a big toll on seniors physically and mentally. Those seniors have a higher risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They're also generally weaker and more likely to suffer depression.

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