Since being diagnosed with lung cancer, Tom has been unable to work. Limited transportation and the lack of grocery stores near his Lindsay Heights home in Milwaukee make accessing healthy, nutritious food he needs to fight his disease difficult.
The Lindsay Heights neighborhood is one of several “food deserts” in Milwaukee. A food desert is defined as neighborhoods void of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. A recent study of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood revealed seniors living in the area were particularly vulnerable.
The Greater Galilee Senior Meal Program, led by Greater Galilee in partnership with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, was developed to ensure homebound seniors have access to the healthy, nutritious food they need.
Recently, Tom received a box filled with fresh, wholesome food delivered to his front door, thanks to the pilot program – a partnership between Feeding America, the Community Planning Council, Walnut Way, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Running Rebels.
“Fresh produce is wonderful!” he said, as he accepted the food box. “I’m hoping this food is going to bring my stomach back out! It’s not going to be in my back no more.”
The program takes place at Greater Galilee the third Thursday of the month and includes a hot meal and a box of perishable and nonperishable food items. The homebound seniors have their food box delivered to them by Running Rebels. In addition to the food, there are a host of community partners that provide wraparound services and play a supporting role in making the senior program possible on a monthly basis. The partners include:
- Medical College of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee County Department on Aging
- Running Rebels
- Children’s Hospital
- City of Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Vincent High School
- Social Development Commission