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For Older Adults Food and Income Determines Health

JFS Responds to Food Insecure Older Adults



Food insecurity is defined as not having access to or the means to purchase enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.

At JFS, we work with many older adults who are struggling financially and have to make hard decisions each month about which bills to pay and then determining how much is left over to purchase food for the rest of the month. Without realizing the compromises they are making to their health, many seniors limit their purchase of fresh produce and other nutritious food because it costs more than their budget will allow.

According to the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey taken between 1999 and 2014, many food insecure older adults have lower nutrient intake, have worse health outcomes, and are 65% more likely to be diabetic. They are over two times more likely to suffer from depression and 30% more likely to report limitations in their activities of daily living (ADL's).

In addition, they are 19% more likely to have high blood pressure, 57% more likely to have congestive heart failure, 67% more likely to have a heart attack, and 91% more likely to have asthma.

To address this problem, the Board of Trustees of JFS is holding its Second Annual Soup for the Soul Event on Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 5pm-7pm at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC in Bridgewater.

Feeling strongly about seniors having enough healthy food available and affordable to meet their nutritional needs, the coordinators of this event, Debby Feldman and Roxanne Levinston, organized an evening of good food, catered by Chef Jeff and a program that will both educate and entertain all who attend. Highlighted at the event are JFS efforts to combat food insecurity and social isolation among older adults in our community as well as efforts made by America Grow-a-Row, a local nonprofit farm dedicated to growing, harvesting, and distributing fresh produce to those in need throughout the community.

Funds raised at Soup for the Soul are earmarked for the JFS Emergency Assistance Fund that provides food assistance to older adults struggling with food insecurity. It's not too late to contribute to reducing food insecurity in Somerset County.

To join with JFS in improving the lives of those struggling financially and insure seniors in our community can afford nutritious food to maintain their physical and mental health, please donate online.

To find out about other ways of helping, call 908 725-7799 and ask for the JFS volunteer coordinator.