This week, Community Hunger Solutions will highlight one of our local partners, Crestview Apartments in Westby, Wisconsin. CHS has partnered with Crestview Apartments since 2013.
In 2020, Community Hunger Solutions was able to distribute around 1,260 lbs of eggs and dairy and around 1,360 lbs of fresh produce to residents of Crestview Apartments! Additionally, residents have received locally made sourdough bread from Bard Bread and coffee sourced from Wonderstate Coffee. These products are available to all people living at Crestview, regardless of their financial standing. CHS ensures that our clients are receiving food that they can use and that they enjoy eating by maintaining contact with the staff at Crestview. Patricia, the Building Liaison, lets us know how much food, and what foods, the residents can use before the next delivery to help prevent food waste.
According to information gathered by Feeding America in the United States and the District of Columbia, 5.3 million seniors are food insecure. That number has increased by 35% since 2001. Today, this amounts to 7.3% of the population. This information was gathered in 2018, before the U.S was in a financial recession resulting from a global pandemic. There are many financial challenges that our elderly population faces today. While the cost of living is rising, many of our seniors live on a fixed income. Moreover, they face mobility issues - not always having access to transportation - and high medical costs. These factors can sometimes force a tough decision between purchasing food or purchasing medicine.
Our work with Crestview is partially funded through Bader Philanthropies, an organization that provides funding to improve the quality of life of individuals living in rural Wisconsin communities. It is also funded through individual donations made from our community members, and by farmers/ distributors donate who sell or their foods at a discounted cost.
Many may be unaware of the additional resources that help our aging population gain access to food. Community Hunger Solutions currently offers a free weekly box of local and mostly organic foods available for pick up Fridays from 3-5:30PM at the Food Enterprise Center, 1201 N. Main St. Viroqua. These Farms to Families boxes are available for pick-up throughout the month of April. Here in Wisconsin, there is also the option of applying for FoodShare benefits. Feeding America reports that only 48% of eligible senior citizens are enrolled to receive SNAP benefits.
If you live in Crawford or Grant county, the number to call is 1-888-794-5780. If you live in Vernon county, the number to call is 1-888-627-0430. You can also register online at https://access.wisconsin.gov/
If you are unable to use a computer to register online, it is recommended that you call your local representative and request a paper application to be sent to you. You can also have a family member assist you in registration as an authorized representative. At the time of this post, some government buildings are still closed to walk-ins due to the covid-19 pandemic, so it is best to call your local agency to check on whether or not they are open for in-person assistance beforehand.
If you are a non-English or non-Spanish speaker and need the assistance of a translator, it may be recommended that you have a simple phrase on hand, such as “I speak (name of language spoken) and I need assistance.” From there your FoodShare representative will work to connect you with the proper translator. If the FoodShare recipient is hearing impaired, the use of a TTY (text telephone) is an option, as well as having a family member assist. Those who are visually impaired can apply over the phone or, again, seek the assistance of a family member as an authorized representative.
Community Hunger Solutions is proud to partner with Crestview Apartments! And is thankful to have a role in uplifting our community.
Roger, a resident at Crestview Apartments, holding his Organic Valley milk.