DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Even when a pandemic is not happening, the Dayton Foodbank said elderly people are already a vulnerable population as many are immobile or on a very tight income.

The Senior food box program has been going on for a few years and they said every year, they see more and more Seniors in need of food.

The commodity supplemental food program, or CFSP, feeds 1,100 senior citizens in Montgomery and Greene counties every month. But there’s many more on the waiting list and that number has greatly increased since the coronavirus pandemic started.

“We had a lot of seniors reach out to us and say ‘Hey, I’m homebound, I can’t get to the grocery store, my family can’t see me, I’m quarantined,” said Lee Lauren Truesdale, the Chief Development Officer at the Foodbank. “There’s a lot of fear and anxiety going on.”

Truesdale said they are doing no contact delivery to senior complexes. Others who can drive, like Marvin Vance, came through their drive-thru distribution Thursday.

He said these boxes really help him and his elderly neighbors.

“I’m so grateful, it’s so unbelievable, it’s the small things that help people, we just have to help people and every little bit helps,” said Vance.

Truesdale said each box weighs about 30 pounds and is full of shelf stable food and cheese.

The contents are all pre-selected to meet the unique nutritional needs for Seniors.

Truesdale said this program is crucial because outside of COVID-19 or tornadoes, families in the Miami Valley experience emergencies every day and the elderly community can be especially vulnerable.

“When you’re living on a fixed income and already struggling to make ends meet, maybe you’ve outlived your retirement, your family can’t come see you, it really isolates the senior and makes things difficult for them,” said Truesdale. “So this box is a great way for us to make sure they have the things they need.”

Any Senior Citizens interested in applying, call the Foodbank and they will mail you an application.

Truesdale said right now, they’re only allotted 1,100 cases, but if you are approved, they will place your name on the waiting list.