Feeding Senior Health offers fellowship in the face of High Point food insecurity

JAMESTOWN, N.C. -- Each month, Renaissance Road Church in Jamestown provides a place where seniors can enjoy an atmosphere of fellowship.

“It's the people. You feel loved. You can just feel the love when you come in,” Jimmy Epps said.

Epps looks forward to attending the event because along with enjoying the uplifting environment, he knows he will have enough to eat.

“By the time we pay our bills, there's not a lot left for groceries and this goes a long way,” he said.

The "Feeding Senior Health" initiative is a collaboration of feeding partners including Second Harvest Food Bank, the Greater High Point Food Alliance, and Senior Resources of Guilford.

Funding from the High Point Community Foundation helped Second Harvest Food Bank research ways to address the challenges food insecure seniors experience.

“We were able to help raise awareness about the issue of hunger with seniors here in the High Point community. We were able to increase access and the amounts of food and the frequency of service through our food pantries. We were also able, again through the food pantries, to bring in some interventions that can help with the issues of nutrition and just issues that are unique to seniors,” Peggy Robinson, regional partnership manager at Second Harvest Food Bank, said.

Grant money also helped Second Harvest Food Bank support program partner Renaissance Road Church.

“Each month this year, we have invited those from our church and our community to have a hot breakfast and to be able to shop for food to take home with them,” Renaissance Road Church executive director Paula Bost said.

“It's also a great opportunity for the seniors to have access to healthy food, but also the fellowship, the socialization that takes place,” Carl Vierling, executive director of the Greater High Point Food Alliance, said.

Money from the High Point Community Foundation has also been used to provide nutrition education programs for seniors, including learning how to shop on a budget and how to cook using healthier ingredients.