For about 9 months, Andy has been getting a box of food each month through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), a USDA nutrition program that provides monthly food assistance specially targeted at low-income seniors. The Food Bank works as one of the administrative arms, storing, packing, and sending food to partners in six counties to distribute to clients.
Typically, his box of food contains peanut butter, two milks, two boxes cereal, four cans of vegetables, two cans of fruit, a package of chili, and 2½ pounds of cheese.
“Obviously, it keeps costs down,” Andy said. “I’m on a very limited budget – too limited.”
There have been times when the CSFP program has really saved him, especially when it gets close to the end of the month. “Right now, my Social Security covers my rent, and almost my electricity, but nothing else,” he noted. “CSFP saved me more than once.”
Andy is not able to work to supplement his Social Security income, since he had a knee replacement recently. And he will have the other one replaced soon.
“Knee replacement changed everything,” Andy told us. “I was a caterer for over 40 years, on my feet 20 hours a day. Now, I can stand for maybe five to six hours at a time, which is a big increase.” He was using nothing but a walker until the surgery.
To those who advocate fighting for keeping important programs like CSFP and to people donating money to the Food Bank regularly, he is grateful.