Select Page

Partner Spotlight: Faith In Action

Feb 28, 2023 | Blog, Live United

Faith in Action Volunteers, one of 600 programs in the National Volunteer Caregiving Network, was initiated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The local chapter became a program of the Broome County Council of Churches in 1996. Addressing the needs of senior citizens in our community, this volunteer-based program provides services to help older adults remain healthy, independent and engaged while remaining in their homes. Volunteers provide “door through door” transportation services for medical appointments, grocery shopping and errands. Faith in Action is also active in the community, building accessibility ramps through the Ramp It Up Youth Initiative, and providing church services at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities through Senior Living Ministry. Over the years, Faith in Action has worked to maintain services that are relevant to the needs of senior citizens.

For older adults, social determinants of health such as food and social connections play a critical role not only in better health outcomes but also in improving overall well-being.

Statistics show that 5.2 million (1 in 15) seniors suffer from food insecurity. Living on a fixed income can limit their ability to purchase fresh, healthy foods and cause them to rely on inexpensive, pre-packaged foods high in sugar, sodium and cholesterol. Also, nearly one-quarter of seniors 65 and older feel lonely. Living alone and having to give up driving can be life-changing and make it difficult to maintain ways to socialize. Isolation and loneliness can lead to many serious health problems, including depression, anxiety, and increased risk of stroke and heart disease. In order to help alleviate food insecurity and social isolation, a new Faith in Action community service was created named Chop & Chat.

Chop & Chat, a program supported by United Way of Broome County, brings vegetarian recipes and fresh ingredients to local senior centers. Participants chop vegetables while chatting with each other. They then take the meal home to cook and enjoy! Each meal provides 3-4 servings and most dishes can be frozen and eaten later. Chop & Chat provides alternatives to pre-packaged food and presents new ways to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables, at no cost to the participant. It also provides the opportunity to make and maintain friendships. Currently, sessions are held twice a month at five senior centers in Broome County.

With the rising cost of food, Chop & Chat helps offset some of that cost and eases the burden many seniors face. Many participants come regularly and have commented on how it has improved their access to fresh vegetables, increased their socialization, and positively impacted their health. The program has become an integral part of their lives, and they look forward to Chop & Chat and discovering new recipes.

  • “Chop & Chat has made me more aware of healthy food and recipes. The recipes are very good and easy to follow.”
  • “I have made things now rather than relying on TV dinners.”
  • “I look forward to meeting people and love going home to cook new food”
  • “I feel healthier and eat more veggies!”
  • “Gets me showered, dressed and out of my lonely apt.”
  • “Gives me a chance to try new foods which I wouldn’t think of”
  • “I am widowed and sometimes the recipes make too much. I eat it for 3-4 days and there are still leftovers.”
  • “Trying new foods and recipes I had never saw or tried.”

The United Way of Broome County has partnered with Chop & Chat since its inception and allows older adults in our community the opportunity to improve their health and lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Chop & Chat, any of their other services, or how you can be a volunteer, contact Faith in Action at 607-724-9130 ext. 339. To support Faith in Action and other agencies working to help those in our community, consider donating today.

%d bloggers like this: