It had been a tough week for James. Each day brought a new challenge. The cost of everything seemed to increase, while his health continued to decline. It was impossible to make ends meet with an annual income of less than $5,000. He never imagined that, at his age, life could be this hard. But today, when he heard the knock at his door, he knew that something good was about to happen. His weekly delivery of meals had arrived.
James is just one of 12 seniors in Hardee County who receive meals through a NU-HOPE Elder Care Services special program created in partnership with Mosaic, a long-time supporter of NU-HOPE and seniors throughout Hardee County.
This unique program is designed to identify and assist seniors who are unable to obtain/prepare nutritious meals and who are unable to gain assistance through other programs. Funded by a $38,000 grant through Mosaic’s Local Hunger Relief initiative, the program allows participating seniors to receive boxes of nutritionally rich and complete frozen meals delivered directly to their home. The meals are easy to prepare and fit the dietary guidelines established for those with common medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, and respiratory issues.
Like James, each of the seniors helped through the Mosaic-funded program face a long list of challenges.
“Several of the seniors who receive meals through the Mosaic grant are living in a migrant labor camp in Ona,” explains Ruth Long, NU-HOPE branch manager. “They are older and very limited in their ability to continue to work, but still stay at the camp. They all live on limited incomes, receiving a minimum amount in Social Security. And they still have to pay to live there. They definitely would be going without nutritious food without this program.”
Others on the Mosaic funded program face similarly difficult challenges. Vernon, at age 97, struggles after breaking his ankle. Ronnie, the caregiver for his wife, is recovering from a broken neck. Bob has end stage lung cancer.
Family members, if available, are unable to provide all of the help these seniors need. Some live out of the area. Others work. In each case, there are still major gaps with no other program available to provide the assistance the seniors need.
“Mosaic’s grant has been a God Send,” states Long. “Without intervention, these seniors face further decline and increased risk of nursing home placement. Receiving these nutritionally rich meals make a tremendous difference.
The Mosaic Company shares NU-HOPE commitment to ensuring seniors have access to healthy food.
As the global leader in crop nutrition, Mosaic holds the concept of increasing food security as part of its core purpose. According to the Mosaic website, “helping the world grow the food it needs is more than a mission. It’s our calling.”
Mosaic’s partnership with NU-HOPE helps to ensure that seniors living in Hardee County have access to the food and nutrition they need.
Ruth Long, Hardee County Branch Manager, expressed gratitude for Mosaic’s continuous support, explaining that this donation represents only one of many ways that Mosaic has supported senior needs. “Over the years, Mosaic has helped to renovate NU-HOPE’s Cathryn McDonald Senior Center, held food drives, served clients at our Thanksgiving Dinner, and purchased equipment used for meal storage and preparation. Their generosity is incredible.”
“Mosaic’s support has changed lives,” Long adds. “The partnership that Mosaic has established with NU-HOPE Elder Care Services has directly improved not only the physical health of seniors in our community, but their mental well-being, as well. Seniors in Hardee County know that Mosaic cares about them. If Mosaic knows there is a problem, they are always willing to find a way to help. That, alone, means so much.”
For more information about the NU-HOPE/Mosaic meal program or other services provided by NU-HOPE Elder Care Services, please contact NU-HOPE at (863) 773-2022 (Hardee County) or (863) 382-2134 (Highlands County.)