Starting in October, Second Harvest Community Food Bank will be implementing a new senior box program that will be made available, at no cost, to the distribution sites who have been distributing Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) boxes to eligible seniors.

“Our goal is to make sure individuals in need have the support and resources they need from Second Harvest,” said Chad Higdon, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest Community Food Bank. “This includes our seniors who have been relying on an external federal program. We will continue to provide them services, just through an internal program.”

Within the 15 Missouri counties that Second Harvest provides services in, an estimated 9.7% of seniors live below poverty according to the most recent edition of the Missouri Hunger Atlas, released by the University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security in 2016. Second Harvest will be distributing approximately 1,000 food boxes to seniors in need each month throughout the region.

“I am very proud of my team and the steps we have taken to provide resources to food insecure seniors,” Higdon said. “With bringing the ‘Senior Box’ program in-house we are able to continue to meet their needs.”

On August 11, 2020, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance notified Second Harvest Community Food bank that it would not be renewing the contract for the United States Department of Agriculture CSFP for the upcoming federal fiscal year.

“We were very disappointed by this decision, but understand the State’s reasoning for their decision,” Higdon said. “Our mission is to provide nourishment and hope to the hungry while engaging and empowering the region in the fight to end hunger. This is definitely a setback for our organization, but we will work hard to find solutions to continue to serve seniors in need.”