Older Kauai residents are often the quiet segment of our community frequently receiving less attention than other community groups. Yet many seniors face significant challenges to their health and well-being, including insufficient income, transportation, health care and food, especially nutritious food.
Food insecurity for seniors is a growing problem. Between 2001 and 2013, the number of older Americans that experience uncertainty over where their food would come from more than doubled nationwide. One in six seniors now face the threat of hunger. Due to our rural geography and limited public transportation, the kupuna on Kauai are at particular risk of being unable to access enough food.
Through the Kupuna Program, we open our warehouse to an average of 133 seniors every month to increase their food security. KIFB staff uses a newly developed checklist of items to ensure that every senior receives a well-rounded selection of food that includes fresh or frozen vegetables and fruit; easy to prepare proteins like egg, tuna, nuts, and sandwich meat; whole grain items like cereal, oatmeal, rice, and bread; and dairy items like milk and yogurt.