Thursday, August 17, 2017

Seniors Get Food Help In Hendry/Glades

Eligible seniors have four new enrollment dates to sign up for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) at Hope Connections. Qualified low-income seniors can sign up for the monthly distribution of 30 to 35 pounds of nutritious food on these dates and times:

 Aug. 22 and Aug. 28: Clewiston, 9 a.m. to noon, 1200 S WC Owen Ave. Phone: 863-983- 8942

 Aug: 25 and Aug. 30: Moore Haven, 9 a.m. to noon, 200 Second St. Phone: 863-946- 0366.

The CSFP program, run by the state agriculture department and operated by the Harry Chapin Food
Bank of Southwest Florida, is expanding in Hendry and Glades counties. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is seeking to increase the number of clients who participate in CSFP from 296 to 1,450.

They include clients like John, 71, who doesn’t have a car and can’t always get a ride to Hope Connections to pick up his CSFP food. But he manages to improvise. For the last CSFP distribution, John drove his riding lawn mower to Hope Connections, about a mile away from his home.

He’s done that several times so he can pick up the food he needs, John said. “It helps me a lot. I can get the juice. I love the juice. Everything they give me helps me.” The food package includes fruits, vegetables, cheese, milk, peanut butter/dry beans, potatoes/grains and more.

The lawn mower John drives is partially melted on one side. It had been in a fire, but he got a good deal on it and knew how to fix it, he said. “I’m not too good at making it, but I do the best I can.”

He was very grateful and happy" said Kristina Rodriguez, Hope Connections manager. "We are always humbled and proud to serve each day...but he reminds us ten-fold why rural programs matter when we meet seniors like him."

To qualify for CSFP, an applicant must be at least 60 years old and earn a gross income at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty line. For example, a two-person household with an annual gross income of $21,172 would qualify.

The CSFP expansion is needed, said Samira Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Connections, which has offices in LaBelle, Moore Haven and Clewiston. “Since we’ve worked here in Hendry and Glades for so many years, we know there’s real need and limited resources. We have people on all kinds of waiting lists for our different services. Somehow Hendry and Glades are often forgotten - the people of Hendry and Glades.”

The healthy food seniors receive aims to keep them from having to make hard choices like eating or
paying bills or buying medicine. So far, Harry Chapin Food Bank has signed up 1,102 clients for Hendry and Glades counties, with 348 needed.

The breakdown is:

 879 clients for Hendry County, with 161 needed

 223 clients in Glades County, with 187 needed

Seniors in Hendry and Glades counties interestet in applying for CSFP can also go to the Hope
Connections location in LaBelle at the Nobles Senior Center, 475 East Cowboy Way, during business
hours. Phone: 863-675-1576

Seniors may also call Annie Noel, CSFP coordinator at the Harry Chapin Food Bank, 239-334- 7007, ext.143 or email:

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