The Warm Hearth Foundation and Feeding America Southwest Virginia have partnered to offer The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to low-income residents at Warm Hearth Village. This new Virginia program aims to improve the health of low-income seniors, ages 60 and over, by supplementing their diets with nutritional foods from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). One hundred and nine residents are eligible for the program and fifty-six percent have enrolled to date. Cindy Wiley-Lamb, Resident Services Coordinator for Warm Hearth Village said she expects more residents to register for the program after the first delivery.
August 8, local electrical distributor, Capitol Tri-State delivered 61 packages from the Feeding America Southwest Virginia warehouse in Salem to Warm Hearth Village in Blacksburg. Kevin Beard, Area Operations Manager for Capital Tri-State said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Warm Hearth Village and Feeding America to help seniors in need in our community.” Subsequent deliveries will be the second Wednesday of each month.
Warm Hearth Village staff members from departments across the retirement community went door-to-door delivering the 30-pound packages containing dry milk, canned vegetables, canned fruit, cereal, rice, healthy grains and proteins. While the packages do not constitute a complete diet, they do help provide nutrients beneficiaries may be lacking.
Recipients showed their appreciation with many thank-you’s and hugs. Warm Hearth Village resident Arnold Naff said this assistance would help him and his wife with their monthly grocery budget by providing many of the items they already purchase.
Feeding America Southwest Virginia began offering the program in May 2018 and currently has 3 sites operating in their service area, with planned expansion in the coming months. Warm Hearth Village is the first agency, and its residents are the first recipients, of a distribution in the New River Valley.
The Warm Hearth Foundation is the charitable fundraising entity for Warm Hearth Village and operates a range of programs that help low-income seniors on campus. Karen Nelson, Associate Director of Development for the Foundation said, “Six years ago we partnered with St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg to offer programs to help low-income seniors in our community. This partnership created the Micah’s Soup for Seniors program to provides shelf-stable grocery items once a month. Since then the Warm Hearth Foundation has expanded its programs to help our residents meet basic needs.”
Last year the Micah’s Soup for Seniors, Garden, and Personal Care Items programs provided over $48,000 in charitable assistance to approximately 100 seniors living at Warm Hearth Village. In 2018 the Warm Hearth Foundation added a pet program in addition to the CSFP expansion. None of these programs could have been established and sustained without many generous contributions from donors throughout the community.