Food Bank Creates New Senior Program - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Food Bank Creates New Senior Program

We've all heard about the program "Meals on Wheels" bringing hot food to senior citizens during the week. But what about on the weekends? Well, the East Texas Food Bank has thought of that and started a program called Senior Servings. It's a first of its kind and gaining some national attention.  

"They found out that the senior had cut their meals into fours, take a meal from one serving into five servings and so that means they're going without the proper nutrition," says food bank Executive Director Robert Bush.

So that's where Senior Servings comes in. It's a new program created by the East Texas Food Bank that delivers a bag of food on Friday, good for the entire weekend.

"I'm 86 years old you know it's got to help me," says one recipient.

From fruit cups to peanut butter packets, everything in the bag is ready to eat and easy to open. That way, the senior citizen doesn't have to rely on someone else to prepare the food or try to cook for themselves on a stove.

And the program is being recognized by the USDA Under Secretary Nancy Johner was in town to commend the idea.

"This is the first time I've seen a model like this, and obviously I cover the nation and I travel across the country and I really do believe that there is going to be some good results from this," she says.

And the results can be seen through people like 89-year-old Bennie Henderson. 

"Sometimes you have to scrap up stuff," he says.

But now, he says he no longer goes hungry thanks to one brown bag full of food.

The program serves about 150 senior citizens, out of 4,000 hungry seniors in Smith County alone. It costs the food bank three dollars per bag. If you'd like it to sponsor a senior for the whole year, you can donate to the East Texas Food Bank.

Tracy Watler, Reporting

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