By: Avideh Yaghmai Samardar
Menlo Park Senior Center’s
Operation Brown Bag provides much appreciated variety of grocery items and fresh produce to the needy seniors on a regular basis. This program is a successful collaboration between the Center’s staff, dedicated volunteers and the Second Harvest Food Bank. As the cost of living rises, seniors must choose how to spend their limited resources for such things as rent, medications or buying food. Through social service programs such as Operation Brown Bag, the Center is able to offer the needed assistance to those with tight financial situations. In 2016-17, the number of disadvantaged seniors who registered for the MPSC’s Operation Brown Bag reached an all-time-high, with over 220 seniors stopping by regularly to take home grocery and produce. The Second Harvest Food Bank recently reported in 16-17 fiscal year, Menlo Park Senior Center received 159,060 pounds of food, equivalent to a total value of $256,173. The value of USDA commodities is $1.52 per pound as provided by Feeding America
, the national network of food banks. The value of the other food is $1.73 per pound as provided by Feeding America. Additionally, the Center in 16-17 provided 1,728 volunteer hours to help facilitate this particular project, which calculates at minimum wage rates to $18,179. Thanks to social service programs, those with limited income are able to continue living in their neighborhoods as housing prices continue to go up.