They are feeding ‘the hidden hungry’

Photo courtesy of Sherry Nadworny

Volunteers for the Diablo Region chapter of Meals on Wheels help deliver food to the “hidden hungry,” such as home-bound seniors.

Editor’s note: The Press asked Sherry Nadworny, director of development and community relations at Meals on Wheels Diablo Region, what her organization is doing to help seniors during the holidays.

Hunger is something most people associate with famines in some far-off continent. But when COVID-19 hit and people lost their jobs, people not having enough food to eat was in the news as U.S. citizens lined up at food banks. But prior to the pandemic, seniors here in Contra Costa County have needed help procuring food every day for years. With the pandemic, the problem has become more pronounced.

Seniors are the hidden hungry in our community. They are homebound, isolated, and they have few people to advocate for them. They don’t have enough food for many reasons, but inflation has had a dramatic impact on those living on fixed incomes. Limits seniors face in their physical ability also contribute to hunger. Many elders no longer drive, and are too frail to negotiate their way around the supermarket. Arthritis or other health problems make it impossible for them to stand and cook, or even cut up vegetables.

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