ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An aging population is creating a “consistently” growing need for services like food deliveries and food pantries, and at least one Albuquerque nonprofit that provides those services says they need more donations to keep up.
“Three years ago we were serving 70 people. Now, we serve 2,000 people every month,” said Joan Punt, President of the Board for Silver Horizons.
Silver Horizons organizes food pantries where seniors can come shop a healthy food selection in addition to also doing food deliveries to individual homes and apartment complexes.
“We come to the facility because many of these residents have mobility, transportation or health issues,” said Punt.
On the day KRQE News 13 met up with Silver Horizons, they were serving dozens of seniors at AEHPA III Senior Living Apartments. There, nearly all residents receive free groceries.
“[I’ve been coming] since they started coming here and I love it. It helps a lot with the groceries, they give us really good food,” said Sylvia Trujillo.
Trujillo says before Silver Horizons she would sometimes have to go without.
“Sometimes you pinch pennies to buy fruit and stuff and here they give it to us free,” said Trujillo.
Trujillo is one of the recent recipients of Silver Horizons services. Since the beginning of 2017, the average number of people Silver Horizons serves every month jumped from 1,000 to 2,000.
“It’s overwhelming sometimes to see the need and see the people that are waiting there in line,” said Punt.
Silver Horizons isn’t the only company that is seeing an increase.
The City of Albuquerque’s Department of Senior Affairs Director, Jorja Armijo-Brasher, says there is an aging population and a consistent need.
“I think the senior population is growing and we’re seeing more and more need for services and activities with our seniors,” said Armijo-Brasher.
Last year, the city served a total of 314,480 seniors, which is the most of what their funding can handle.
“We are funded to serve a certain amount of people,” said Armijo-Brasher.
Silver Horizons expects more seniors to need their services soon, and to keep up they need donations.
“We’re always looking for people that will help us with our food drives,” said Punt.
If you would like to donate to Silver Horizons, click here.