According to America’s Health Rankings, 14.5 percent of Arizona adults age 60+ are food insecure. Arizona ranks 37th of the 50 U.S. states for its high rates of food insecurity among seniors. FSL is combatting food insecurity in Wickenburg and Peoria through a combination of food boxes, congregate meals and at-home meal deliveries, serving almost 2,500 residents each year. Meet a few of the seniors who participate in FSL’s food programs…
“I thought I knew the world outside. But when I came to the community center and met all these different friends, they’ve taught me so much.”
Starting over in a new place is never easy. That’s what Terri did in her 80s. Terri enjoyed a full life in New Jersey. She raised a family and marketed Fortune 500 firms. Later as a widow, Terri reunited with old friends near the shore. She loved her independence. But when Terri was hurt in a fall last year, she knew it was time to move near her son in Arizona. He introduced her to the FSL Peoria Senior Center.
Terri comes for lunch twice a week, savoring her favorite part: dessert. And she stays for bingo and crafts — things she never had time for as a career woman. But it’s the people that keep Terri coming back.
It’s fun to surprise your doctor … in a good way. Gregory, who has diabetes, recently had the pleasure of doing just
that when his doctor saw his blood sugar level was down to 6.8. That’s considered pre-diabetes. How did Gregory do it? He credits the well-balanced meals at the FSL Peoria Senior Center. And the $3 suggested donation is easy on the pocket. On his own, Gregory says he’d make something easy, like bacon and eggs. But at the senior center, he enjoys a variety of nutritious meals, including his favorite: seafood. His social life has improved, too. Gregory spends time in the center’s computer room and takes group trips to fish or visit the casino. But the best part is the chance to laugh with friends and feel cared for by the staff.
“I’d rather have a meal here than my own cooking. The chef’s that good!”
“I feel like I’ve earned my meal at the center when I do work.”
Visit the food pantry at the FSL Wickenburg Senior Center and you might catch a glimpse of volunteer Richard. But it’ll be a quick one. The 74-year-old stays active, whether it’s doing chores for neighbors or driving friends around town. Richard learned the value of work as a boy, chopping wood to heat his family’s home in Pennsylvania. Now at the pantry, he helps load food boxes into people’s cars. When the lunch staff see Richard in line, they have a little fun with him. Because they know Richard doesn’t like vegetables. Especially broccoli. Richard does enjoy the center’s special events. At Halloween, he’s dressed as a scary spirit and a sumo wrestler. And at Thanksgiving, Richard prefers to eat at the center rather than at someone’s home. Why? Less chance of broccoli. More pie.
Shakespeare once called music the food of love… Janet fills up on live music every chance she gets. For the past
several years, her favorite spot has been the FSL Wickenburg Senior Center. Music has a special place in Janet’s heart. About 30 years ago, the former nurse practitioner was hurt in a truck crash and lost the ability to speak. Singing helped her recover. That led to a career as a country gospel singer. Janet toured and even made a professional recording. These days, Janet sits in the
audience at the center. But the music still sounds as good as ever. Over the years, Janet has enjoyed the center’s home-delivered meals and its group lunch. She likes that the staff and volunteers always open the door for her. And that the Freedom Express will take you around town.
“There’s other people here to care for you. You’re not alone.”
Combatting Food Security Across Arizona
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For more information on how to join us in reducing hospital readmissions, we encourage you to explore our ACTIVATE program further and get involved in the effort to foster healthier communities. You can also call us at 602-406-2374 to learn more about ACTIVATE! Together, we can tackle the issue of hospital readmissions and make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens.
Established in 1974, the Foundation for Senior Living is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:
- Affordable housing options
- Nutritious meal programs
- Health and wellness programs
- Senior centers
- Recreation programs
- Support for caregivers
All of these are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. If you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you. And if you’re able, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!