Food insecurity for our seniors is a growing problem. Between 2001 and 2013, the number of older Americans that experience uncertainty over where their food would come from more than doubled nationwide. One in six seniors now faces the threat of hunger. Due to our rural geography and limited public transportation, the kupuna on Kaua‘i are at particular risk of being unable to access enough food.
Get Fit Kaua‘i has partnered with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank (KIFB) to create a comprehensive Healthy Eating and Donation Program for Kauai’s Kupuna. Focus groups were held at Senior Centers that frequent the KIFBand, at the request of kupuna, cooking classes on healthy foods are being provided. A widespread media campaign has been launched to educate and remind our residents how valuable Kupuna are to our community and our family structures. The campaign also urges donors to buy and donate specific healthy food items that are needed at the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank.
In addition, through the Kupuna Program, KIFB serves an average of 133 seniors every month to increase their food security. KIFB staff uses a newly developed checklist of items to ensure that every senior receives a well-rounded selection of HEALTHY food that includes:
- fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit;
- easy to prepare proteins like egg, tuna, nuts, and sandwich meat;
- whole grain items like cereal, oatmeal, rice, and bread; and
- dairy items like milk and yogurt.
See more at www.getfitkauai.com. Mahalo Nui Kaiser Permanente, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health for your support of this project.