ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – In conjunction with World Food Day, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Seniors First, Inc. to highlight the issue of senior hunger with the free screening of the documentary “Leftovers”, held at the City of Orlando’s Beardall Senior Center Tuesday afternoon. The 68-minute film dives deep into this issue that affects more than five million seniors in America and continues to grow every year.
The elderly, with limited funds, health issues to battle and declines in mobility, are especially vulnerable to suffering from the issue of access to food. In Orange County alone, 12 percent or 15,000 of the 129,000 older adults aged 65 and up living here, are facing food insecurity.
“As a Mayor and the son of an aging mother, ensuring a high quality of life for our seniors is something I feel deeply passionate about,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Our seniors are a generation to be proud of and honor, so knowing that many of them may be experiencing hunger, aloneness and insecurity about access to food is something that is not acceptable to me. Partnering with Seniors First to show this documentary and spur conversations in our community around this issue is one way we continue to bring awareness to and work to help solve this issue locally.”
A panel discussion held by local industry experts, including Dave Krepcho – President/CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, Melvin Pittman – retired Orange County Community and Environmental Services and Seniors First board member, Lee Perry – Program Manager of Fleet Farming, Ken Peach – Executive Director of Health Council of East Central Florida, Tennille Yates – Registered Dietician of Florida Hospital Nutritional Services, and Stacey Gray – Assistant Manager of Case Management Orlando Health, discussed how locally residents and businesses can help solve senior hunger through volunteering, donating and even talking with friends, family members and co-workers to help educate others.
“Senior citizens are the new face of hunger in America and they have no one to speak for them,” said Marsha Lorenz, President/CEO of Seniors First, Inc. “We are fortunate to have Mayor Buddy Dyer leading us and shining a light on this issue here in our community.”
Tuesday’s event is part of the City of Orlando’s continued commitment to offer and support services and programs that provide assistance and help to everyone who is in need. The City of Orlando provides annual funding to Seniors First, Inc. and their Meals on Wheels program to help bring homebound seniors quality, balanced meals delivered right to their doors. Through Seniors First’s Meals on Wheels program, 97% of seniors report it helps them eat healthier, 96% say it helps them live at home independently and 92% say they worry less about food.
Also, several elected officials were in attendance Tuesday, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, District 3 Orlando City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, District 6 Orlando City Commissioner Sam B. Ings, and Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors Vice Chairwoman Daisy Morales, who is also Elder Ambassador with the Orange County Commission on Aging.
See Event Photos: Facebook