Help for older citizens

GLOVERSVILLE — As the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic fallout persist, the number of Americans struggling to put food on the table is growing. Many older adults are concerned about having enough money to pay for the food they need, and some worry that they might not have enough food for their household in the coming weeks. Federal programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help vulnerable older adults access the food they need to stay healthy during this pandemic, according to a news release.

The increases in food costs are not lost on low-income older adults struggling to make ends meet. In fact, a recent survey found that half of low-income older adults were especially concerned about rising food prices. For this group, even small increases in food prices can mean the difference between putting a meal on the table and going without. During this unprecedented time, it is critical to get food to those who need it. While food banks and pantries can help, they are struggling to keep up with skyrocketing demand. Physical distancing, lack of transportation and health concerns also make it difficult for many older adults to access them.

That’s where the SNAP comes in. SNAP is a critical federal safety net that helps prevent hunger by providing eligible low-income people with resources for food.

SNAP works like Social Security or Medicare; if you are eligible, you will get your benefit without affecting benefits to others. SNAP also helps local communities by increasing sales at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Every SNAP dollar spent adds $1.79 to the local economy by supporting local jobs and retail sales.

The residents of Fulton County who would like further information about SNAP or to find out if they may be eligible should contact the Fulton County Nutrition Outreach and Education Program at (518) 810-9081 to learn more. The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York provides free legal services to low-income residents for a variety of civil (not criminal) legal issues. For more information, call the legal line at (833) 628-0087.

By Patricia Older