VDACS News Releases
January 11, 2016
Virginia Receives Funds for Food Assistance for Seniors
New federal appropriation will benefit 5,000 low-income senior
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today that a federal appropriation of $279,488 for calendar year 2016 will allow 5,000 low-income, senior Virginians to receive a monthly allotment of food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The funds, made available through USDA’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), will be administered by VDACS and the food will be distributed through the Virginia Federation of Food Banks and its seven affiliated regional food banks. This is the first time that Virginia has received funding for the CSFP.
VDACS first inquired about the CSFP about 18 months ago and applied for funding in August, which was approved in the fall of 2015. “We were surprised at how quickly the process moved,” said Sandra J. Adams, VDACS Commissioner. “We were included in the funding round that began January 1, 2016.”
With this money, 5,000 qualifying low-income, senior citizens in Virginia will be able to receive supplemental food in the form of a monthly box. Recipients may pick it up at their local food distribution center or arrange for home delivery. Each box has a retail value of $40 to $50 and will contain items such as protein foods (beans, cheese, canned meats), pasta, sauce, oils, flour, canned and fresh fruit, canned vegetables, UHT milk, cereals, rice and more. Each box is designed to supplement other food purchased by the recipients or received through programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
“The program also has an educational component,” explained Adams. “Food banks will include fliers with recipes and nutritional information specific for seniors along with the boxes.”
In the near future, VDACS employees will be trained on management of the new program from the USDA and the Pennsylvania CSFP. They will begin with a pilot program for a couple of food banks before rolling out to all seven regional food banks in the state.
“The Federation of Virginia Food Banks and its members extend our heartfelt thanks to the team at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for submitting such a strong plan to bring the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to Virginia. With 15 percent of the population that we serve in the state being 60 years or older and that population continuing to grow on a daily basis, the implementation of this program could not have come at a better time,” said Leslie Van Horn, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.
Senior citizens may contact Seth Benton, VDACS’ Program Manager for Food Distribution, for more information: 804.786.0532.
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