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Powered By Connection – Supporting Our Older Americans

By May 9, 2024No Comments

Meaningful connections are what makes life special. Whether it’s family, friendships, or community – making connections makes our lives richer, safer, and more productive.

During the month of May, our country is celebrating Older Americans Month. This effort is spearheaded by the Administration for Community Living and features the profound impact that meaningful relationships have on both our health and our well-being. During the month of May, the group is promoting resources that help older Americans engage and participate in community events, social clubs, and volunteer opportunities.

The theme for this year’s celebration is Powered by Connection, and Food Lifeline is proud to support and participate in this year’s campaign!

One of the more critical issues facing Older Americans is food insecurity. With limited incomes, decreased mobility, and challenges with technology, many seniors find themselves without the nutritious food they need to thrive.


To address this need, Food Lifeline works with nearly 300 food bank partners to provide healthy and wholesome foods. Last year, Food Lifeline helped serve more than 300,000 persons aged 55 and older. This food not only provides the necessary nutrition, but it also keeps seniors from having to make financially tough choices, like choosing to pay the light bill instead of buying food.

But there’s something extra that these seniors receive when they visit their local food bank.


Seniors often find connection and companionship at their local food banks. A large majority of Food Lifeline’s food bank partners also offer “wrap-around services” to their guests. This is often in the form of clothes banks, health screenings, utility assistance, and in some cases, free medical and dental care. These services are a valuable service to our seniors, and often makes them feel cared for and included.

But the real key, may be the friendships and social interaction they receive when visiting their food bank.

Victoria is a grandmother that visits the West Seattle Food Bank each Wednesday. While she originally came just for the food, today she volunteers to help make sure her neighbors are receiving both food and companionship.

“It feels like family here. Like we are all together in this community. We work hard to take care of each other, and make sure everyone has what they need.” 


Some seniors simply enjoy spending an hour or so visiting with other guests. Leon is a retired engineer who visits the food bank to help supplement his retirement income, but he especially enjoys visiting with the people he’s met over the past year.

“You get to spend some time just talking with other people from all different backgrounds. I really look forward to seeing these people every week.”

At the Hunger Solution Center, more than 20,000 volunteers every year work sorting and repacking donated food to be delivered to Food Lifeline’s partner food banks. Of that number, hundreds of them are older Americans looking for a meaningful way to volunteer and connect with their community.

One of those volunteers is Bob Grubbs, who volunteers two days a week as a Production Core team member. Bob says the experience gives him a strong sense of both belonging and contributing.

”It’s a good thing for the community, a good thing for me, and I feel like I’m valued.”

Bob Grubbs, Production Core Team Member

Not to mention the workout.

“A while back I was pushing a pallet jack around with 1100 pounds of potatoes, and helping lift 40 pound boxes onto pallets.”

So you can add a full body workout to his experience…

“I don’t have to go to the gym, I come here!” he says with a sly grin.

Helping older Americans to make connections is a big part of Food Lifeline’s work.  Ensuring that every voice is heard, that everyone’s needs are addressed, and that everyone feels important. For these reasons, Food Lifeline is proud to support Older Americans Month, and works every day to make sure they are Powered by Connection.

Contribute to Older American’s Month here.

Learn more about this special month by visiting here.