With a food budget of $50 a month, Joyce couldn’t afford fresh fruit and vegetables, so she shopped at budget stores and made meals of Little Debbie snack cakes and other processed foods. She knew it wasn’t good for her or her high blood pressure, but she didn’t know what else to do.
“They say eat your vegetables, but look at the prices. I can’t do that,” said Joyce inside her small apartment tucked behind an auto repair business in Plainfield.
She apologizes for the condition of the building. The area was a lot nicer 13 years ago when she moved from south of Danville, where she grew up the youngest of nine children. She admits she’s lonely, especially these last 18 months, where most days it’s just Joyce and her 16-year-old cat, Alex Ann.
Because of her disabilities, Joyce is not able to drive. The closest grocery is a 20-minute walk along U.S. 40, something that’s not feasible for the 61-year-old with chronic pain and other medical conditions. Public transportation options are limited in Plainfield, so Joyce relies on a sister, who takes her once a month to doctor appointments, the grocery and other places she needs to go.
Home-delivered meals for seniors
About a year ago, Joyce received a card in the mail about services available in Hendricks County. CICOA was on the list, so she called and learned about the meal delivery service through Meals and More.
“When I got ahold of CICOA, they said, ‘We have a better way,’” Joyce said. “I’m just blown away how good it is. I’m looking at a real piece of chicken. I couldn’t afford fruit, and the fruit cup is great.”
Dinner is now her favorite part of the day. She likes knowing that the meals she receives are made fresh in Indianapolis at Chef for Hire. The meals are nutritious, filling, and best of all taste great, she said.
The life-changing impact of meals at her fingertips
“I just can’t thank you enough,” Joyce said. “And my doctor is blown away.”
She’s lost 50 pounds since starting on Meals and More because she’s replaced sugary, processed foods with real meat, vegetables and fruits. Her blood pressure has improved so much, she no longer needs medication.
“CICOA has saved my life,” she said.
It’s also given her a feeling of more independence since she no longer has to rely on family members when she runs out of groceries. She knows she’ll have at least one nutritious meal a day.
Joyce is one of many seniors in Central Indiana who received a total of 535,203 home-delivered, freshly prepared meals through CICOA’s Meals and More service last year.
Because so many struggling neighbors like Joyce have limited options on limited budgets at a time when food prices continue to rise, won’t you please give today?