This year's goal supports the Benefit to Alleviate Senior Hunger, or BASH 2020. BASH 2020 is replacing ISC's annual fundraising event this year and will support our work related to addressing senior hunger. During this emergency period, funds will be used to purchase food and hygiene items to distribute during the pandemic and the costs associated with delivery and phone intakes. After the immediate crisis is over, ISC's new clients will receive full food insecurity assessments and case management assistance; we hope to welcome many of them to ISC for meals, cooking classes, and in-person nutrition information. When seniors are not worried about affording food, they are healthier mentally and physically, and they can share their talents and wisdom with others.
With the COVID-19 crisis, food-insecure seniors faced the additional difficulties of wanting to self-isolate for safety and not being able to rely on strained social networks of friends or family facing their own economic hardships. In March 2020, ISC adjusted pantry services to meet these needs by offering two options: home delivery (items are left outside and the senior is called to let them know it is there) or pick-up/drive-up (with no direct contact). Since mid-March, over 600 unduplicated clients, who had never accessed ISC services in the past, received a food pantry, and ISC continues delivering to regular ISC participants (approximately 125 pantries per month). ISC receives referrals from the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, the Douglas County Health Department, and United Way's 2-1-1 hotline. ISC's food pantries accommodate the needs of diverse older adults and also include hygiene items and a cheery note to remind isolated seniors that they are not alone, how to stay healthy, and how to avoid scams.
The Intercultural Senior Center improves the dignity, quality of life and physical well-being of seniors from around the world though advocacy, education, access to social services, and cultural enrichment activities that benefit the entire community.