What is the Senior Citizen Project?
This project is for seniors ages 62 years and older who live in poverty and reside in DuPage and Kane Counties, IL. Currently 151 senior citizens are enrolled in the Senior Citizen Project. Every month of the year, the elderly receive support with nutritious groceries and other basic needs that are vital to their well-being. Seniors can choose to receive a grocery store gift card if they are able to shop for themselves or have someone shop for them. For seniors who are unable to utilize gift cards, HSP staff are providing monthly deliveries containing fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, bread, non-perishables, paper goods, and personal care products. Seniors are also welcome to come themselves or send someone who cares for them to pick up food and other items weekly at the center. At any time a senior can switch from a grocery gift card to a physical delivery to their home.
Why does this project exist?
Many elderly people are living on limited incomes and, unfortunately, they must often choose between paying for rent, medical expenses, medicine, or groceries. The average monthly income of seniors enrolled in this program is $970, which is primarily from social security. The seniors often have little to no family support and face serious medical issues, such as diabetes and heart related issues. Others have no transportation, are limited in their mobility, or find themselves homebound. Having access to nutritious food to eat is imperative for survival and enables the seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain independent.
What is the goal of the Senior Citizen Project?
It is our goal that senior citizens living in our communities do not have to worry about where their next meal will come from. We never want our elderly neighbors choosing between having a meal to eat and purchasing medication. It is very important, after working their entire lives, seniors can have their basic needs met while also maintaining their dignity and independence. Through enrollment in the program, the elderly can count on a monthly receipt of a grocery gift card or grocery delivery while also having access to nutritious food at the center. This eliminates the fear that comes from not having enough to eat and provides a pathway to healthy meals.
Seniors also receive items such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo and toothpaste which allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These items can be extremely expensive, and it is important that the elderly have access to them.
This program is focused on supporting seniors' needs so they can live out their days with nutritious meals; and enjoying the comfort that comes from knowing they are never alone, and their basic needs will be met.
How does this project make a positive difference to seniors?
Every week we receive cards and phone calls from the seniors enrolled in this program, letting us know how much they appreciate the food and other support. Many seniors explained that before enrollment in the program they skipped meals because they did not have enough money to purchase food. They are grateful for the meals they enjoy, the friendly staff who deliver their groceries and the Secret pals that provide gift cards.
Through the Lenscrafters One Sight program, seniors in the Senior Citizen Project are referred to a local store to receive a free eye exam and glasses through the HSP and Lenscrafters partnership. This has been a life changing experience for many seniors as they do not have the money for glasses but now are able to see, read and enjoy the world around them.
Through the wonderful supporters of HSP, their basic needs are met but their emotional needs are supported as well. The seniors love that people care about them; they feel a connection to their community and they know that, when they need help, they can turn to HSP. It is a beautiful gift to be able to share your love with the elderly that have given so much to society but now need help in return.
We invite you to click here to see Thank You messages from the elderly and how your incredible support is forever changing their lives.