The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is celebrating 10 years of distributing Twilight Harvest supplemental senior food boxes to monthly to more than 1,460 food-insecure senior citizens throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.
FBSJ’s Twilight Harvest service is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which works to improve the health of low-income seniors at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious commodity foods provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food packages include a variety of foods: cheese; milk; fruit juice; farina or cold dry cereal or rolled oats; rice or pasta or grits or dehydrated potato flakes; peanut butter or dry beans or dry peas; canned meat or poultry or fish; and canned fruits, and canned vegetables. Commodities are pre-packed and distributed to eligible seniors monthly.
Since 2010, the start of FBSJ’s CSFP senior service the program has grown from servicing 420 seniors per month to providing Twilight Harvest senior food boxes to 1,490 per month – with projections at 1,500 per month for 2020. The growth of FBSJ’s participation in CSFP in its first 10 years demonstrates a 347 percent growth, with more than 1,000 seniors now serviced through FBSJ’s initiatives.
Making this service possible are the many dedicated community partners working with FBSJ as CSFP distribution sites. In 2019, FBSJ served 250 seniors from Burlington County, 995 Camden County seniors, 93 residing in Gloucester County and 113 food-insecure seniors living in Salem County.
CSFP Site Coordinator Appreciation
Recognizing FBSJ’s 10 years of CSFP service, an awards presentation ceremony at FBSJ highlighted FBSJ’s CSFP Site Coordinator Appreciation & Training Day, hosted at FBSJ in January.
“Many of our CSFP site coordinators are also recipients themselves,” explains Robyn Lockett, Senior Manager of Direct Service Programs at FBSJ.
“We are so grateful to our CSFP site coordinators,” Lockett states, noting the CSFP senior feeding program is a popular feeding program for seniors because it helps them stretch their monthly food budgets. The program allows them to receive foods they may not be able to receive without the program’s assistance.
“Many times senior households face spending compromises and, in most cases, seniors have to choose between food and household utilities, medical expenses, housing rental costs and even transportation – many times seniors will opt to pay other bills, and forgo purchasing food.”
FBSJ’s Lockett reports that, at each CSFP site location, we have partnered with other organizational staff, community and senior volunteers who serve as CSFP site coordinators to distribute the food packages,” FBSJ’s Lockett shares. ”We would not be able to distribute this program without the dedicated assistance of the volunteer site coordinators at the various CSFP locations – their efforts make a tremendous impact.”
FBSJ honored the following CSFP site coordinators and locations celebrating 10 years of participation in the Food Bank’s growing Twilight Harvest program: