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The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) or “Senior Boxes" is a USDA nutrition program that provides a box of shelf-stable food each month to income-eligible seniors.
Participants either pick up their monthly food box at a partner agency location, have an authorized person pick up their food box, or have the food box directly delivered to their home via a participating partner agency.
The program is designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of low-income seniors, supplementing diets with a monthly box of healthy, nutritious food. With Cleveland ranking third in older adult poverty among all major U.S. cities even before COVID-19 hit Northeast Ohio, we know this pandemic has brought with it more devastating effects on seniors throughout our service area.
The most recent American Community Survey data shows that Cuyahoga County has the largest number of seniors living in poverty in Ohio at 30%. CSFP prevents vulnerable seniors from having to choose between food and other basic needs, like medicine, housing, or utilities.
The program is federally funded, therefore the program may only serve as many eligible seniors as funding allows. The program provides both administrative funds and food to states, which in turn store and transport the food to local agencies for distribution. The Food Bank works as one of the administrative arms, storing, packing, and sending food to partners in six counties to distribute to clients.