Senior Food & Lifestyle Fair Addresses Food Insecurity

Table Sixty, an alliance of community leaders and advocates committed to alleviating senior hunger, hosted a Senior Food & Lifestyle Fair on May 9 at the Winter Park Community Center.  Many organizations came together to provide fresh produce, healthy cooking demonstrations, movement classes, health screenings and lectures, and information on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  Free transportation was coordinated by the City of Winter Park and provided by the Winter Park Housing Authority.  Approximately 175 older adults were in attendance at this free event.

Participants learn about SNAP benefits from Orange County UF IFAS staff.

The event was designed to primarily draw seniors from census tract 159.01 in Winter Park, which is the neighborhood sometimes referred to as Killarney.  A 2014 survey on food insecurity conducted by the University of Central Florida revealed that nearly 40% of older adults residing in this neighborhood are living in poverty.  This area is among three in which Table Sixty is piloting programs to determine how best to respond to the critical issue of food insecurity among older adults.

Participants received fresh produce from Hebni’s Fresh Stop Bus.

“We have heard great feedback from participants who attended the fair.  The planning group responsible for the event will be meeting soon to reflect on lessons learned, possible improvements, next steps, etc.  I am very grateful for their active participation which clearly demonstrates they understand the impact food insecurity and poor nutrition has on older adult health,” said Diana Silvey, Program Director, Older Adults.

A group yoga session at the Food & Lifestyle Fair.

Did you know that food insecure seniors:

  • consume fewer calories and lower quantities of key nutrients,
  • are 50% more likely to be diabetic,
  • are 60% more likely to have congestive heart failure,
  • and are 3 times more likely to suffer depression?

Click here for additional senior hunger facts from Feeding America.