When Paul celebrated his 60th birthday, his friend and neighbor Carl told him about our local food distribution for seniors in Killeen. A month after Paul began attending the distributions, his friend Carl passed away, but not without leaving a lasting impact on Paul’s life. “It’s been a blessing, you know,” says Paul of the meals he receives from CSFP. “With food being so high, we can’t afford to get what we used to.”
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, is one of the Central Texas Food Bank’s senior programs. Available for participants 60 and older, the monthly distributions include a free box of 25-30 pounds of groceries along with 2 pounds of cheese. The assistance can be particularly helpful to those living on a limited or fixed income, which is often the case for many seniors living in Central Texas, like Paul. With food and gas prices on the rise, these folks are particularly vulnerable. “My money can only stretch so far,” Paul says. “Between gas and groceries and bills, I’m lucky if I have $20 left to make it through the month.”
But for Paul it’s not just the rising cost of groceries that has put a strain on his income in the last few years. In 2019, he suffered a serious car accident when another vehicle coming off the highway hit his car on the service road. “After he hit us, another vehicle hit us from the other side,” Paul says. “It totaled my vehicle and I’m blessed to be here.” Paul still feels the stressful after effects of the accident as he struggles to keep up with the fluctuating costs of his medications. “I’ve got one now that I can't get, because I don't have the money for it.” Since he and his spouse live on a fixed income, any amount of money saved can make an impact on his ability to support his health.
Still, Paul remains hopeful and full of gratitude for the support he receives from the Food Bank. “Thank you for helping us out with what you’ve given us. Thank you.”