Seniors using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Seniors using food stamps to get by

 Dillie Nerios usually visits senior communities, signig up seniors for food stamps-- called "SNAP," Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

But today, she's in the office helping 74 year old Edna Torres. Edna told NewsChannel 5, "Well, it took me a while because sometimes I get a little bit of help from the children and the grandkids but they can hardly make it themselves."

Edna delayed signing up for the supplemental help.

Dillie said it's a story she hears a lot from seniors. "Like this couple before, they say it's so embarrassing to even ask. You know what, you are entitled to the this as an American citizen. You paid all your life to your taxes, this is your money, this is your program."

Dillie works for the Treasure Coast Food Bank. They've seen an increase of seniors coming through their doors wanting food stamps. An increase of about 30 percent." Dillie said, "The family kicks in, a family that doesn't have, they  have to help mom out. In some cases I've seen they are trying to help the kids."

Once Dillie helps the senior fill out the paper work, it's sent to the state. Judy Cruz, CEO of the Treasure Coast Food Bank said they could receive food stamps for up to a year.

"That's typical for a family, a working family in need of assistance. Seeing seniors, a lot of them are on it a lot longer, some of them will take it for a year it's a renewal program, not a lifetime."

But for Dillie, it's a lifetime helping seniors get back their dignity. "I will do it as long as I can as long as they want me and as long as God has me here."

Treasure Coast Food Bank


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