Food Insecurity and Seniors: The Focus of My Summer at the Saint Louis Area Food Bank

by Louise Hyneman

This summer I am interning at the Saint Louis Area Foodbank in the Programs Department. The foodbank serves 26 counties across Missouri and Illinois. The foodbank serves communities by operating as a middleman between large donors, like Sam’s Club and Target, and smaller food pantries that either can’t coordinate those relationships or handle the amount of food donated by the corporations. The organization is also in the Feeding America networks, so they are given federal money to deliver federal programs to assist residents living in food insecurity. The foodbank also has a team dedicated to assisting individuals with applying for SNAP, and this is the program I will be working the closest with.

The Saint Louis Area Foodbank recently received a grant to promote SNAP registration among eligible seniors by hosting bingo events. This summer I’ve been given the responsibility of planning and executing of the first portion of the grant. The bingo events will take place in three rounds with time for evaluation and revision in between. In the picture to the right, you can one of my first tasks of making a timeline for the entire grant. For the grant I’ve also made the logic model and met with seniors at one of the future event locations. It was great interacting with the seniors and hearing the unexpected prizes they wanted, like toilet paper. With this grant I am excited to be involved with execution of the project and see how the skills I learned in program planning and evaluation translate into real situations. Already when developing the survey I struggled with including the constructs I believe are important to measure, while keeping the survey short enough for the seniors.

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