EngAGE would like to thank the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for its generous $10,000 Basic Needs Grant which we will use for our multi-faceted EngAGE in Wellness program.
The EngAGE in Wellness program provides onsite delivery of several tons of free food each month to thousands of low-income seniors living in 36 affordable apartment communities in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties in Southern California.
EngAGE has partnered with several large Southern California food banks to have our trucks pick up our allocation of food. It’s then parceled into easy-to-carry packages and delivered to our communities where our low-income senior residents receive the healthy food they need to sustain them each month. This service eliminates the problems many of our seniors face when trying to access food banks: the packaging of food is too bulky and the pick-up locations are often unreachable.
In addition to providing access to food, we also provide free weekly onsite wellness classes, teaching low-income seniors how to prepare healthy meals, practice better nutrition behaviors (including financial planning for grocery shopping), and retain their health and independence. Residents particularly enjoy cooking together and sharing the tasty results.
We also offer classes in exercise, strength building, fall prevention, health education, medication management, and others that catalyze low-income seniors to take on healthy behaviors that keep them in independent affordable housing and out of higher levels of care. This saves society large amounts of dollars in public subsidies and creates substantial savings for families.
The EngAGE in Wellness program also provides needs-based onsite staff services. Services like discount utilities, financial assistance, health access, transportation, financial literacy education, computer literacy, and others become readily available through this program, creating better financial stability and health for a very under-served population.
Through the years, EngAGE also has installed and supervised on-site vegetable gardens in 14 senior communities we serve. Residents choose whether to have separate plots, or to share the produce harvested throughout the community, so that all residents have access to fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement their diet. Residents often prepare meals together using produce from the community gardens, and our cooking/nutrition classes also enjoy the healthy garden ingredients.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation directs funding to meet the needs of low-income communities, with a particular focus on revitalizing neighborhoods, educating the workforce for 21st century jobs, and addressing basic needs, such as hunger and homelessness. The EngAGE in Wellness program is honored by this grant which helps us deliver vital services that address basic needs of the residents in our communities.