The RSF Foundation has a vision for the future: healthy aging and increased food security for vulnerable seniors in North County San Diego. We are putting that vision into action by funding North County Senior Connections (NCSC). This program recognizes that healthy aging for vulnerable seniors depends upon access to nutritious meals and socialization.
Our multi-year grant, 2014-2017, funded the creation of a mobile collaborative healthy aging program for seniors. Serving seniors and meals with the Thyme Together food truck, NCSC effectively provides a mobile senior center. Since North County covers a large area geographically and public transportation is inadequate, NCSC takes the senior center to the seniors. This program offers deeply discounted lunches to seniors followed by activities that inform, entertain and provide socialization for them.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The NCSC program, launched in November 2014, currently serves the Vista, San Marcos and Oceanside communities. The food truck serves freshly prepared lunches to seniors at four mobile home parks and one faith center, Monday through Friday each week (except holidays). Seniors make their selection from a full menu of nutritious options, and they pay $2.00 for the meal. Calfresh, a supplemental nutrition assistance program, is accepted for payment, and help for seniors to enroll in Calfresh is offered onsite. See the complete schedule and locations and menu for the program.
Several nonprofit organizations collaborate with their unique approaches to addressing community needs to provide North County Senior Connections:
Dreams for Change purchased the food truck and handles the nutrition research, menu options, and food preparation.
Interfaith Community Services (ICS) provides staff for on-site lunch and activities coordination, as well as access to additional support services needed by the seniors. They have offices in Oceanside and Escondido that offer many other community impacting services.
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank partners with Dreams for Change through its Food to Nonprofits program. As a result, Dreams for Change has access to thousands of pounds of fresh produce to support the senior meals program at no cost.
The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at University of San Diego initially conducted a feasibility study to determine the need of the program. They also provided consistent program evaluation during the first three years. Below are their findings and program evaluations.
Read the One-Year Update.
Read the Final Evaluation.