At least one in seven seniors is at-risk of going hungry due to the inability to obtain sufficient food for their household or having to choose between food and medical care according to Feeding America.The Lakeland Fire Department is partnering with Comfort Keepers of Lakeland to benefit VISTE, a Lakeland area non-profit food bank, in asking the community to make food donations to the Feed Seniors Now food drive to help local seniors and raise awareness for this growing epidemic that impacts millions of older Americans trying to remain healthy and independent.
Through September 31, 2013, the Lakeland Fire Department will be accepting donations in the lobby of its administration building located at 701 E. Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801. Click here for a list of nutritious foods that are ideal for donation.
Hunger can lead to malnutrition and other serious health problems in seniors. The lack of an adequate diet can have an immediate impact on the body, mind, and the safety of senior citizens. If seniors fail to consume the appropriate amount of nutrients, their bodies may become weak or unstable and their minds may become fatigued. The combination of these two effects will significantly increase the risk of a fall and other accidents. In addition, malnutrition can affect the body’s immune system and leave seniors more vulnerable to diseases or illnesses. As many as 85% of seniors in the care of others are at risk for malnutrition and its consequences. Signs of malnutrition may include sudden weight gain or loss, bruising, or dental difficulties, sudden changes in taste, or a general disinterest in eating. For seniors, malnutrition means the potential for increased hospital stays, increased health complications, early entry into assisted living facilities or even premature death.