Senior Hunger in Imperial Valley

For many Imperial Valley seniors living on fixed incomes, they must take care of everything else before prioritizing their nutrition. Summer months are especially dangerous for seniors as they pay for increased electric bills due to the heat. Add in the rising prices of food, medical expenses, and the cost of supporting family members like grandchildren, and our seniors are facing an extremely difficult situation.

Isabel, a senior from Calexico, shared, “I make food for my grandchildren during the week and take them to school to help my son. My husband and I have a small pension, so this food helps us a lot.”

Seniors should not have to worry about where their next meal comes from or how they will feed their grandchildren. One in five seniors live in poverty in Imperial Valley, and without a steady source of nutritious food, they are at risk for malnutrition and hospitalization.

Studies from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research suggest this number is even higher, with many seniors classified as the ‘hidden poor’ - those who live above the federal poverty level and often do not qualify for public assistance, but still struggle to pay their expenses. The study found that among older couples, Imperial County had a significantly higher rate of hidden poor than any other county — “43.4 percent of older couples did not have enough income to make ends meet.”

The Imperial Valley Food Bank has multiple programs to help our seniors facing food insecurity.

  • Food Distributions – We distribute food each month to 25,000 people at over 30 locations throughout Imperial Valley.

  • Senior Food Program – Seniors over the age of 60 can receive a 35-pound box of food to supplement their diet. We currently have over 700 seniors in this program.

  • CalFresh Outreach – Our bilingual outreach staff helps seniors navigate the process of applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides older adults with significant food purchasing power every month and helps them maintain their independence.

With your support, we can continue to provide these important programs. Donate today and consider giving monthly to support our programs year-round!

Read stories from Imperial Valley seniors below!