During September, which is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, Comfort Keepers on the Lakeshore is asking the community to make food donations to the Stop Senior Hunger food drive. Tina Butler, owner of the Muskegon-based Comfort Keepers franchise, said the drive will help local seniors and raise awareness for a growing epidemic that impacts millions of older Americans trying to remain healthy and independent.
“Hunger Action Month is in September, but seniors go hungry all year,” Butler said. “We can’t fight every factor affecting hunger, but we can start here in our community by creating awareness about the issue, and helping family members become more aware of the signs of hunger and malnutrition.”
Hunger can lead to malnutrition and other serious health problems in seniors. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 85 percent of older Americans in the care of others are at risk for malnutrition or undernutrition.
Malnutrition is the result of the body not absorbing enough nutrients due to inaccessibility. Signs of malnutrition may include sudden weight gain or loss, bruising or dental difficulties, sudden changes in taste, or a general disinterest in eating. For seniors, malnutrition means the potential for increased hospital stays, increased health complications, early entry into assisted living facilities and premature death.
The Comfort Keepers staff has placed a food collection bin at the North Ottawa Council on Aging office, 422 Fulton Ave. in Grand Haven.
Students from Lakeshore and White Pines middle schools are also collecting canned goods at both schools. In the spirit of competition, the classroom collecting the most canned goods will be awarded with a pizza party.
For more information on the local campaign, call the Comfort Keepers office at 846-5890.