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MIFA and Mid-South Food Bank Launch Senior Nutrition Collaboration to Help Address Area Senior Hunge

MIFA and Mid-South Food Bank Launch Senior Nutrition Collaboration to Help Address Area Senior Hunger

MIFA and Mid-South Food Bank have joined forces in a new pilot project designed to expand meals on wheels service to homebound seniors living in the 38109 ZIP code area.    

The 20-week program called Senior Nutrition Collaboration will serve 25 seniors over age 60, who are nutritionally at-risk due to illness or disability.  Starting the week of February 10, clients will receive 14 shelf-stable meals each week—enough food for breakfast, lunch and two snacks each day.               

The inaugural participants were identified by the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, the area’s primary funder of senior nutrition programs, and other MIFA senior programs.   The Food Bank will establish the menu and its volunteers will package the food boxes which will also contain nutritional information related to health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and calcium deficiency. 

MIFA will provide its expertise in meal delivery and its staff drivers trained to observe the well-being of the meals’ recipients.   Mid-South Food Bank was founded in 1981 as a program of MIFA until it became its own independent organization in 1988.  

Senior Nutrition Collaboration marks the first formal partnership between the two nonprofit organizations since that restructuring.  Both groups view this project as a model for future collaborations.   

“This joint initiative is an ideal match for MIFA’s mission of supporting the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through high-impact programs,” said MIFA Executive Director Sally Jones Heinz.  “It also initiates our strategic objective of expanding senior meals service in Shelby County.”  

MIFA is investing approximately $12,000 in the pilot project.   “Last year the Food Bank launched its Senior Grocery Program, making food insecure seniors a focus to help,” said Estella Mayhue-Greer, Food Bank president and CEO. “Partnering with MIFA on this new collaboration helps the Food Bank expand its reach to more seniors and especially those who are homebound.”   

The 38109 ZIP code, an underserved area of the city, was targeted for the project due to the high number of requests MIFA receives for Meals on Wheels from that area.               Pre-assessments by MIFA staff will measure the health and nutritional status of the clients as well as their ability to provide food for themselves.  

Later, through surveys and reassessments at regular intervals, clients will be reviewed again about health and nutrition well-being.