By Shannin Sauliner
Hurley Creek Apartments is an independent senior living community in the Natomas area. Most of the seniors are on fixed incomes and have little money or access for purchasing groceries, let alone healthy fruits and vegetables.
A group of residents began coming to our distribution at Peace Lutheran Church in early summer 2009. They quickly became some of my favorite clients. They were always quick with a hug for the volunteers and extremely appreciative of our efforts.
As our relationship with the Hurley Creek residents has developed, we have seen them grow and develop. They were very interested in giving back to the program, so they began talking in line to other clients about our resources and Change for Change drive. They have even become active volunteers at one of our other distribution sites; understanding that they cannot receive services and be volunteers at the same time.
The most exciting results though have been the ones they've seen in their own health. Residents have reported losing 10, 15, 20 pounds as a result of incorporating the fruits and vegetables we distribute. Some have seen a decrease in their blood pressure and others have even been able to go off of diabetes and hypertension medications as a result of changing their diets.
These seniors, their spirit, and their willingness to change "old" habits are an example of the success which can be achieved through our Food Assistance program when the people we serve are willing to invest themselves in making healthier choices.