Meet A Senior Who Benefits from Senior Nutrition Programs

March 15, 2013

Last week, Carol celebrated her 70th birthday. Carol is one of our home-delivered meals clients and told me more than once that our senior nutrition program made a huge impact on her life.

“I don’t know how I would have survived without you because I was stuck and could not get out and go anywhere. Your food saved my life.”

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Last summer, Carol fell and broke both of her shoulders. After being released from a nursing home, she was in no shape to get dressed, shower or let alone go grocery shopping or cook. The light at the end of the tunnel was a phone call to our Home-Delivered Meals Coordinator Ronda which resulted in a warm meal to be delivered to Carol the very next day.

The continuous visits of our delivery drivers caused a chain reaction on Carol’s floor: other residents came by to ask how they can help and new friendships were formed.

“When you’re shut in like me, the home delivery drivers are the only people who knock at my door.”

Carol lost 45 pounds with our balanced meals and never felt more energized. Today, Carol’s shoulders are healing nicely, her new friends are helping with grocery shopping and she feels more confident.

At Senior Community Centers, we serve over 400 home-bound clients like Carol who’s lives depend on our meal deliveries. In addition, our ten congregate dining sites are filled every single day with seniors who would otherwise not eat. We expect to serve 525,000 meals a year that are partly funded through senior nutrition programs.

If you know are in need of meals or know someone who is, please visit Senior Community Centers’ Website for more information. We are here to help.


Call to Action: Contact Congress to Exempt Senior Nutrition Programs from Sequestration

March 13, 2013

Please take a moment and contact your congressional representatives to let them know how important senior nutrition programs are – not only for the seniors we serve, but also for the community as a whole. Find out more in the video below:

Call, write, email, tweet and Facebook our congressional delegation and U.S. Senators and tell them to end the partisan games and get to work. Here is a complete Advocacy Toolkit with all the contact information you need! It is time for us to stop putting up with the dysfunction that passes for leadership and demand that politicians come together for the good of our nation. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:


(Not sure who your rep is? Find out here!)

United States Senate Representatives

Senator Barbara Boxer (D); Ph: 619-239-3884

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D); Ph: 619-231-9712

United States House Representatives

49th District: Rep. Darrell Issa (R); Ph: (760) 599-5000

50th District: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R); Ph: (619) 448-5201

51st District: Rep. Juan Vargas (D); Ph: (619) 422-5963

52nd District: Rep. Scott Peters (D); Ph: (858) 455-5550

53rd District: Rep. Susan Davis (D); Ph: (619) 280-5353


Dear [Senator/Representative],

I am urging you to protect senior nutrition programs from the sequester ordered on March 1.  Sequestration will eliminate over 100,000 meals for seniors in San Diego and 4 million meals nationwide. The impact of the sequester could be far greater than lack of nutritious meals for a vulnerable population who is often more isolated and in the greatest economic or social need.  Frequently, the meal that is provided through senior nutrition programs is their only guaranteed source of nutrition each day.

The longer term impact of these cuts could be that some of these older adults will end up in hospitals and or nursing homes due to health issues related to the failure to maintain a proper diet.  This, in turn, will add significant costs to Medicare and Medicaid at a time when efforts are being made to reduce these costs. We should be investing in these valuable nutrition programs as a means to avoid increasing federal expenditures, not cutting back on them when they are needed most.

We hope you will insist to exempt senior nutrition programs from sequester to avert a human tragedy which will befall some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society.  Thank you for your consideration and support.



Senior Community Centers will also hold a Media Event on Thursday, March 14, 2013 to showcase how San Diego Seniors stand Against Sequestration.

Dear Super Committee; Don’t Leave Seniors Hungry and out in the Cold

November 17, 2011

Members of Congress regularly cite the important work done by non-profit organizations to bridge the gap between government programs and actual community need.  Yet we have a situation where the so-called “Super Committee” is considering draconian cuts in domestic programs like senior nutrition and eliminating or reducing the charitable gift deduction for taxpayers.

How can they possibly expect charities like Senior Community Centers to protect vulnerable seniors without government funding and private donations?  The situation has devolved into the theater of the absurd.

To put the need in context, check out a couple of recent articles such as, “New scale finds more poverty” in the San Diego Union-Tribune and “Senior Citizens in U.S. Falling Into Poverty Faster Under Census Measure” in Bloomberg News.  They illustrate how rapidly seniors are falling into poverty at higher rates. We know that the boomers aging into programs began this year. If predictions hold true, seniors will double their numbers by 2030. With the insurgence of older adults aging into programs, we must protect our ability to fundraise, especially if congress continues their path towards under-funding essential nutrition and wellness programs for seniors. We refuse to fade quietly away while the Super Committee decides to leave seniors out in the cold.

The Super Committee needs to think about the ramifications of its proposed cuts and make a clear statement in support of the charitable deduction.   Please contact the members of the Super Committee and ask them to protect senior nutrition programs and charitable giving deductions.

Home / Members

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Co-Chair, Phone: 202-225-3484
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Phone: 202- 224-2621
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Phone: 202- 224-2651
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) Phone: 202.225.6235
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) Phone: 202-225-3561
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) Phone: 202-225-3315
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)Phone: 202- 224-2742
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) Phone: 202- 224-4521
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Phone: 202-224-3353
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Phone: 202 224-4254
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) Phone: 202 225-3761
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Phone: 202 225-5341

Moving Forward: Assembly Bill 138, The Elder Index Takes Its First Steps

September 2, 2011

elder index wall of lettersIn July, over 250 seniors participated in a letter-writing campaign to State Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to support adoption of the Elder Index for planning purposes in counties throughout the state.  The Elder Index uses actual data in four key areas – housing, healthcare, food and transportation – to determine the income a senior needs to have his or her basic needs met.

Government currently uses the archaic Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to assess economic needs for older adults.  The problem with the FPL is its questionable methodology and data.  A researcher in 1964 determined that in 1955 the average American family spent one-third of income on food.  That number was multiplied by three creating the FPL.  The only change from 1964 is that the FPL is adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).     The stark reality is that we are making major economic policy decisions impacting millions of seniors based on data more than a half century old using a flawed hypothesis.

Nowhere is this more evident that in the chasm between the FPL and the Elder Index here in San Diego.  The FPL is $10,830 per year.  The Elder Index in San Diego is $24,000 – more than double FPL.  This is why so many seniors are falling through the cracks – they simply don’t have enough money to take care of themselves.

On August 25th, thanks to the leadership of Senator Kehoe, the Elder Index bill (AB 138) passed by a 6-3 vote in the Appropriations Committee. I am extraordinarily proud of the seniors who made their voices heard loudly in Sacramento.  Getting the Elder Index out of committee is a major victory in a year of tough cuts for seniors.  Furthermore, on Wednesday the senate voted “aye” 25-14 with amendments.   Read the rest of this entry »

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