Get Fit Kaua‘i (GFK) partnered with the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, Kaiser Permanente, The County of Kaua‘i Agency on Elderly Affairs, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), local farmers and community volunteers to create the Kūpuna Meal Kit Pilot Program (KMKPP).
- Kūpuna Meal Kits contained easy-to-make, heart-healthy, low sodium tofu-based recipes and all the food items, including local produce, needed to create the meal.
- According to an article published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, “regularly adding tofu to your diet may protect your heart, and help maintain body weight.” Soybeans have an anti-obesity effect on the human body. If you consume soybeans, you will remain full for a long time which will automatically reduce your food craving and caloric intake, and thus helps you prevent weight gain or being overweight. In addition, tofu boosts digestive health, helps prevent diabetes, strengthens bones and improves metabolism and blood circulation.
Over a three-month span, 390 meal kits containing recipes and nutritional tips and facts were delivered to kūpuna. The bag that held the kūpuna meal kit ingredients were made from 100 percent fully biodegradable plant material that will completely disintegrate in home compost within 180 days.
At the end of the Pilot Program, 130 surveys were sent out with a response rate of 22. Responses were collated by RSVP and sent to KIFB. Surveys reported that 54.5% of those surveyed made at least two of the tofu meal kits delivered.
The survey also found that 59.1% of those surveyed reported feeling more financially stable that month due to the KMKPP, and 45.5% reported being able to afford the medical care/medication that month due to the KMKPP.
Surveys also revealed that only 40.5% of kūpuna are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), highlighting the need for outreach and an opportunity to help kūpuna become enrolled. Among older adults who qualify for SNAP, 48% don’t take advantage of these important benefits. Barriers to applying for SNAP range from reluctance to ask for help to a belief that the application process is too difficult. KIFB and Get Fit are working together on a program to address these needs.
- February 2022: First meal kit delivery
- March 2022: Second meal kit delivery with a note card announcing survey the following month
- May 2022: Third and final meal kit delivery with survey and stamped, addressed envelope
- June 2022: Collect incoming surveys and analyze data
GFK found that the program was successful, and would benefit the community to continue. For more information on Get Fit Kaua‘i contact Bev Brody at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit getfitkauai.com. Get Fit Kaua‘i is part of HIPHI’s Healthy Eating + Active Living initiative a program of HIPHI.