by Cappie Williams, MiCAFE Metro Detroit Outreach Coordinator
As a part of my work as the MiCAFE (Michigan’s Coordinated Access to Food for the Elderly) Metro Detroit Outreach Coordinator, I help homebound seniors apply for food assistance and other benefits right in their own home as they cannot make it to a MiCAFE site or local Department of Human Services office to apply. Last year, nearly 200 homebound seniors received application assistance from the MiCAFE program. Without this in-home application assistance, these seniors would not have had access to the benefits they need to access food and stay healthy and independent.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Marigold and her daughter Doreen who is her caregiver. Marigold is 101 years old. She is the sweetest thing that you would ever want to meet. She allowed me to take her picture because she said that she had just gotten her hair done and why not put it to good use!
Like many seniors served by MiCAFE, Marigold can’t leave home without assistance and does not have enough food to eat every day. Her daughter, Doreen, who is also a senior, does not have access to transportation. Doreen takes care of her mother every day. She wanted to help her mother apply for food assistance benefits so that she had enough to eat, but did not know where to start or what paperwork was required so she called the MiCAFE program for help. Since Marigold and Doreen are without transportation, I visited them in Marigold’s home to complete application for food assistance benefits and submitted it on their behalf.
September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign mobilizing the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Marigold, like so many seniors, faces hunger every day and faces adverse health outcomes without proper nutrition.
According to Feeding America, food insecure seniors are:
- 60 percent more likely to experience depression
- 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack
- 52 percent more likely to develop asthma
- 40 percent more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure
Thinking about these statistics made me feel more appreciative and grateful than ever that I am a part of Elder Law of Michigan and that I can help reduce senior hunger through the MiCAFE program.
If you or someone you know is having a hard time making ends meet or putting food on the table, please call MiCAFE at our toll free number, 1-877-664-2233. Our staff can help you find the MiCAFE community partner nearest you or help you start the process right over the phone.
The MiCAFE program is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Human Services, and the National Council on Aging.
Cappie Williams is the Metro Detroit Outreach Coordinator. Cappie started as a MiCAFE volunteer and joined the Elder Law team as an employee in 2011. She has been with Elder Law of Michigan since 2012. She started with Elder Law of Michigan as a MiCAFE mobile team volunteer for homebound seniors.
Cappie is a certified Medical Laboratory Technician and Phlebotomist. She previously worked at William Beaumont Hospital for 17 years. Cappie has a background with working with infants to geriatrics, until she had to become a caregiver for her parents. Cappie is the vice-president of Pride Area Community Council.