Picture it. Sicily. 1965. While the place may not be your place, the year may be familiar to you. A lot of senior citizens were barely into their twenties. Times were a little rough for everyone. You had to be self-sufficient in those times. You had planted a garden with all the fruits and vegetables you and your family enjoy just to ensure you and your family had access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your next meal wasn’t always easy to come by in those times unless you were one of the lucky, wealthy ones. Your garden offered something you could not always find if you decided to go out to eat.
There is nothing better than a fresh, home-cooked meal surrounded by your loved ones. Some of you were not as lucky as others to be able to have their own fruit and vegetable garden. You may have lived in an apartment building with no access to a plot of land. That is ok. Even if you couldn’t grow your own food, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t eat a great meal. You just had to buy the food instead of picking it from your yard. You could still add your touches to the meal. The only difference is that you didn’t personally grow the vegetables or fruit.
If you are a senior citizen and are unable to cook a meal for yourself, then eating out is an option for you. You can find local restaurants that offer food on their menus that you enjoy. Some local restaurants in your area get their produce from local farmers. Others get it from a company that mass produces food items. The plus side is you get nutrition. The negative side is sometimes it isn’t as healthy for you. If you live alone now, cooking may be a new chore for you. Your spouse may have done all the cooking before. Cooking can be fun, but it can be confusing if you have never done it before. To ease your anxiety, you can have potluck meals with your neighbors. Everyone pitches in prepare and brings a dish to share. If you are not too friendly with your neighbors, you can locate the senior center in your area. They usually offer meals Monday through Friday. While you are there enjoying a delicious, healthy meal, you may make some new friends. You are bound to have something in common with someone there. If there are no senior centers open or available in your area, local churches of all denominations sometimes offer hot meals. If you are a veteran, you can contact your local Veteran’s Affairs office and see if they have places that offer hot meals. There are also places that can bring cooked meals to your home if you are unable to leave for whatever reason. Your local church, Meals on Wheels, and the Salvation Army can bring the meals to your home. Some either bring enough meals for the day and sometimes they bring enough for the week. You can also reach out to social services and they will help you find the resources you need to have a healthy meal every day.
Times can be uncertain when you are a senior citizen. You have already been through a lot in life. Food shouldn’t be one of your worries. Last year, 2020, brought was difficult for everyone, particularly seniors. Everything seemed to be closing. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals were the only places open. Only 5% of senior citizens ordered groceries online. Shopping was difficult because the everyday food items weren’t available, and people were hoarding out of fear. Once places started opening again, 11% of senior citizens decided to eat at fast food places at least three days a week instead of cooking at home! The nutritional value of fast food isn’t as great as a home-cooked meal. There is added sodium and the portions can be larger than what you would eat at home. Now that the world is starting to recover from COVID-19, we can go back to growing our own food and or cooking at home.