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OPINION

Health and Wellness: Anybody hungry?

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health
Perry Chief

“Anybody hungry?” is usually a light-hearted invitation to come and eat. For some of your neighbors, hunger is more serious than not eating for the past few hours.

Among the hungry may be your grandparents. There are several reasons: a reduction of income after retirement and large healthcare bills that use more of their budget than they planned. Retirees may resort to buying only cheap, less nutritious foods and skipping meals to save money.

Hunger is more complex than a lack of money. Transportation is closely related to hunger. Some rural areas of Dallas County have no grocery store. Even in towns with grocery stores, if an older adult no longer drives, shopping becomes a challenge.

Two programs help older adults obtain fresh produce. One is the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Low-income persons over age 60 can receive $30 of checks to spend this season on fruits, vegetables, honey and fresh herbs. They may designate a proxy to shop for them. https://www.agingresources.com/programs-services/nutrition-wellness/senior-farmers-market-nutrition-program/ The second option are the year-round Pop Up Produce Stands, which “pop up” monthly in four Dallas County communities that have no full grocery store.

Call Dallas County Health Department at 515-993-3750, or email phn@dallascountyiowa.gov for more information.