By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Elder Care Alliance, whose Mercy Brown Bag Program is safely providing nutritious food to elders throughout the pandemic.
Elder Care Alliance is a network of five communities serving seniors throughout California, and the communities aim to be a place where seniors flourish. Elder Care Alliance was founded with a deep sense of spirituality, and welcomes residents regardless of religious background or beliefs.
Elder Care Alliance’s Mercy Brown Bag Program has distributed bags of nutritious groceries to seniors in the community for more than 34 years. Food insecurity is a growing problem in Alameda County and half of all seniors are unable to make ends meet. Too often, seniors in the area are forced to choose between food and lifesaving medications. The Mercy Brown Bag Program serves those seniors, and year after year distributes one million pounds of food to nearly 5,000 seniors in need.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Elder Care Alliance was committed to ensuring the Mercy Brown Bag Program could continue safely. It adjusted programming so volunteers packed bags of groceries instead of the typical shopping style of distribution, and began delivering groceries to seniors at no charge so they could stay home. Thanks to its mighty team of volunteers, the Mercy Brown Bag Program increased the number of seniors served with more than 1,000 new clients since the pandemic started!
Thank you to Elder Care Alliance for addressing food insecurity among seniors in your community!