Produce Helps Local Seniors Stay Healthy
Ten percent of the people Second Harvest Heartland serves are seniors over age 60. For these individuals, fresh produce is often out of reach because of cost or access. Fresh produce distributions, supported by donations from local farmers through Share Fresh MN and the Retail Food Rescue program are one of the ways we are working to help get more fresh produce to the plates of our hungry neighbors, like Irene.
Irene lives in a senior community center in St. Paul. She regularly attends the produce distributions held within the senior center and visits the Francis Basket food shelf to help supplement her grocery budget.
Irene is a cancer patient and tries to eat as healthy as possible. She relies on the produce distributions for most of the produce in her diet, but also buys broccoli and cauliflower from the grocery store because they aren’t as expensive as other vegetables.
“Fruits and vegetables, I can never get enough of them,” said Irene.
She also tries to volunteer and give back as much as possible.
“If I arrive early enough to the produce distributions, I like to help set up,” said Irene. “It’s great help when you’re on a fixed income, and I try to pay them back with my time. We have some helpful people here. They try to help me with a low sodium diet and I’ve even got my blood pressure checked at the food shelf.”
Irene says that she posts information about produce distributions and other resources in her senior center.
“I like to bring people with me. A lot of people need help, but don’t know where to go or are too afraid to ask,” said Irene.