RSVP receives $20K grant for senior nutrition program

RSVP of Enid and North Central Oklahoma volunteer Ralph Cox loads a commodity box into a senior's car recently at RSVP Senior Social Center, 202 W. Walnut. The commodity box program, a supplemental nutrition program for low-income seniors, was boosted Monday by a $20,000 grant from New York Life. (Photo provided)

RSVP of Enid and North Central Oklahoma has received a $20,000 grant to support its senior nutrition program.

The Community Impact Grant was awarded to RSVP by New York Life on April 8 to help fund the commodity box program, which is a partnership with Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide boxes of staple foods to low-income seniors in RSVP's service area.

RSVP relies on more than 820 volunteers to serve low-income seniors in Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant, Major and Noble counties.

The program started out with RSVP providing one bag of groceries to seniors with physical, financial and transportation issues, at no cost to them. With the support of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the program has grown to provide 288 commodity boxes per month to low-income senior households.

“We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in RSVP, which will change many lives for the better,” said Christy Baker, RSVP executive director. “Without the support from New York Life, we wouldn’t be able to make such an impact on our rural area seniors who suffer in silence, [who] oftentimes go to bed hungry, be it because of their isolation from others ... fixed financial restraints, and transportation issues."

“New York Life encourages our agents and employees to devote their time, energy and talents to making good things happen where we live and work,” said Judy Gregory, agent of the company’s New York Life Tulsa general office. “We are pleased that our partnership with organizations like RSVP can have a positive and lasting impact in our local community.”

The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations, which are championed by New York Life agents and employees. Since the program’s inception in 2008, almost 600 grants totaling about $7 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the country.

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