Grandparents serving as guardians face hardships

Grandparents serving as guardians face hardships

July 6, 2019 in From Denise's Desk Harvest Time Newsletter

Hundreds of family relatives—particularly grandparents—become parents the second time around when their children experience difficulties and grandchildren need care. These “grandfamilies” must adapt to an entirely new lifestyle—which includes figuring out how to provide food for a child.

More than 3,600 seniors in Ozarks Food Harvest’s 28-county service area live at or below 130 percent of the poverty level, and older adults experience substantially higher rates of food insecurity with a grandchild in the household. Some grandfamilies experience food insecurity in part because without legal
custody of the grandkids, they don’t qualify for government food assistance through programs like SNAP and WIC.

In addition to monetary support for food assistance, grandparents may require additional aid due to limited mobility, lack of transportation and an assortment of other issues associated with growing older. Tasks such as safely preparing meals at home and making trips to the grocery store can be extremely challenging.

At Ozarks Food Harvest, we recognize the challenges grandfamilies face and do everything that we can to support them. Our pantries and senior center partners gladly serve meals to grandparents and their grandchildren each week. And through our Senior Food program, seniors can receive monthly food boxes to share with their families.

Doreen’s grandfamily receives food assistance through one of our programs. She shared, “I am a widow and disabled. My three grandchildren live with me. If it wasn’t for this program, I don’t know how we would survive. I would not be able to provide for them.”

I’ve seen firsthand the joy that it brings these families to receive food. You can make a substantial impact in the lives of families like Doreen’s by making a donation to The Food Bank. Thank you for your compassion for people of all ages facing hard times in the Ozarks!