NewBridge Madison Launches Food Bridge “Your Connection to Wholesome Groceries” | The River Food Pantry

[original press release published by The Creative Company]

Food Delivery Program to Serve as a Critical Resource for Madison Area Older Adults

MADISON, Wis. (October 1, 2019)-Picture this: your older parent or grandparent is living at home during their last phase of life, but they wake up every morning worrying about how they’ll get their next meal. It doesn’t have to be that way, older adults in the Madison area do not have to go hungry.  NewBridge Madison, The River Food Pantry, and RSVP of Dane County are pleased to announce the launch of Food Bridge “Your Connection to Wholesome Groceries.” The food delivery pilot program starts today (October 1st). In the first year, organizers hope to serve as many as 60 older adults with a goal of 300 by the year 2024. To achieve these goals, NewBridge is hoping to get at least $50,000 in donations for the program in the first year.

Food Bridge is a critical program because food insecurity is a significant issue among older adults in Dane County. “NewBridge is excited to partner with The River and RSVP in creating Food Bridge, a program to deliver food to seniors in our community affected by food insecurity,” said Sonya Lindquist, Senior Services Director with NewBridge Madison. “By collaborating, each agency’s unique community service is combined to provide a new service that will help vulnerable older adults have regular access to fresh produce and other nutritious foods.” According to NewBridge Madison, in Madison and Monona, there are over 2,500 older adults who are at nutritional risk and/or qualify for FoodShare, and this number is on the rise. Many older adults who receive Meals on Wheels or eat at NewBridge meal sites stretch one meal into two or more meals, particularly toward the end of each month when their monthly incomes may be depleted.

Reports show that older adults who struggle with hunger are:

  • 78% more likely to experience depression
  • 40% more likely to report chest pain
  • 55% more likely to develop asthma

Older adults with limited incomes are regularly forced to choose between purchasing food or medicine or paying for housing, utilities, transportation or medical care. Therefore, older adults struggling with finances may rely on eating cheap or unhealthy food (including expired food). In addition, many older adults with food shortages are often home-bound because of physical limitations and lack of transportation and are thus unable to get to a food pantry by themselves. The “Food Bridge” program will allow older adults to have two or three nutritious meals a day by delivering healthy food from the River Food Pantry to older adult’s homes. According to the River Food Pantry, older adults can save on average of $67 per week or $268 per month by shopping at the River. “Our vision at the River is of a fully nourished community,” said Charles McLimans, President and CEO of the River Food Pantry. “Older adults and children are some of the most vulnerable members of our community affected by food insecurity, and we have strategies to address both ends of the spectrum. Food Bridge is an innovative and collaborative approach to solving hunger in the older adult population and we are excited to engage with our community partners, NewBridge, and RSVP, to launch this initiative.”

“RSVP is excited to be part of this program with NewBridge and The River Food Pantry to ensure that low income older adults receive nutritious food, helping them to remain independent and in their own homes.” Margie Zutter, RSVP of Dane County Executive Director

Who can take part:

  • Older adults age 60+
  • Live in Madison or Monona
  • Fall below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Homebound, at nutritional risk, and lack the means (money, physical limitations, transportation) to access food
  • Must also be NewBridge case management client

NewBridge staff members will work with older adults in their homes or at the NewBridge offices to coordinate food delivery once a month. RSVP volunteers will pick up food from the River Food Pantry and deliver to older adults at their mutual convenience.

To make this program a success, donations, and volunteers are needed right now.

Donate: NewBridge has a goal of raising $50,000 in donations in the first year of the program. The more donations NewBridge receives for this program, the more people they can serve.  Please click this link to donate.

Volunteer: To volunteer please click this link. 

About NewBridge Madison:
Founded in 1975 NewBridge is Madison’s gateway for older adults to access affordable resources to maintain their health, safety, independence and community connections. Their programs span from case management to nutrition to helping seniors with their home chores. On January 1, 2019, four Madison nonprofits committed to serving older adults, North/Eastside Senior Coalition, West Madison Senior Center, South Madison Coalition of the Elderly, and East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging, merged to operate under the name of NewBridge Madison. The merger allowed the organizations to consolidate resources and no longer compete for funding.

Connect with NewBridge Madison on its website, Facebook or Instagram.

About The River Food Pantry:
Serving Dane County since 2006, The River Food Pantry provides food, resources, and faith to build a stronger community. Services include free groceries, meals, and clothing, as well as free mobile lunches for children and teens on non-school days. As the area’s busiest food pantry, The River serves over 1,000 households every week in pursuit of its vision: a fully nourished community.

About RSVP of Dane County:
For over 40 years, The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been offering personalized volunteer placement, matching volunteers age 55+ with community service opportunities across Dane County. Our volunteers share their knowledge, interests, experience, and energy, contributing to the well-being of their local communities. RSVP is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Our funding is a combination of federal, state, city and county support as well as private grants and donations from local businesses and individuals. Our major funders include the Corporation for National and Community Service, Dane County Department of Human Services, City of Madison, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

FMI: Madison Lee






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