Guest Blog: Get to know the folks at Eastern Area Agency on Aging (EAAA)
What is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and how do I apply?
Eastern Area Agency on Aging provides older adults, caregivers and adults with disabilities in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties with information and access to resources they need to be healthy, engaged and supported in their communities. One of the programs we facilitate is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The CSFP program is funded by the USDA and works to improve the health of low-income seniors by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA foods. These thirty pound monthly food boxes include a variety of items such as: non-fat dry and ultra-pasteurized milk, juice, Farina, canned meat/poultry or fish, oats/ready-to-eat cereal, rice or pasta, peanut butter, dry beans, and canned fruits or vegetables. We have 52 distribution locations throughout Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Washington Counties, one being in Dover-Foxcroft at the Piscataquis Regional Food Center. This program operates solely on the generosity and hard work of our volunteers as we only have three paid employees in the program. We have over 2500 seniors signed up for the program and there are over 200 volunteers who operate the sites on behalf of us. Our volunteers are absolutely amazing and we could not run this program without them!
To qualify for the CSFP program applicants must be 60 years or older and meet income guidelines. For example: a single person household must make under $1,307.00 a month in order to qualify and a two person household must make under $1,760.00 a month.
In addition to the CSFP program, we also have the Furry Friends Food Bank which provides monthly supplemental pet food to low income seniors. The age and income guidelines for the FFFB are the same as the CSFP program however; it is a separate program so you must fill out a Furry Friends application to be on that program. You do not need to be on the commodities program in order to be on the Furry Friends program. Like the CSFP program, we have pickup locations in all four counties where consumers can pick up their monthly supplemental pet food, including one at PRFC.
Staff pictured from left to right: Diana Matson, Mike Trafton and Kelly Adams
My name is Diana Matson. I am the Administrative Assistant for the Supplemental Food Program. I greet consumers, process applications, send out distribution calendars and record rosters among other things. I am responsible for assuring documentation, submitting information to the USDA and ensuring the program runs smoothly for the volunteers. I started working at EAAA on May 7, 2019. I am so grateful to have been chosen to work at EAAA as it is very fulfilling and rewarding to help our seniors.
Kelly Adams is the Supplemental Food Program Manager. She started working for EAAA in December 2017 as the Manager of the Commodities Supplemental Food Program and took over as the Manager of the Furry Friends Food Bank shortly after in July of 2018. Her workday includes placing the USDA order, submitting reports, doing site development and volunteer coordination. She oversees the daily operations of the CSFP and Furry Friends programs and assists when issues arise or when things need to get from one place to another. In Kelly’s own words, she states “I love this job because I enjoy the multitasking, traveling throughout our beautiful state to visit the sites and helping people. My favorite thing about my job is meeting with all of the amazing volunteers and consumers in the program. I really enjoy getting out to the sites to meet the people being served and chatting with our volunteers, who share the same common goal of helping others. I feel like people are really appreciative of the services that they receive and EAAA is known for providing amazing services to seniors, individuals with disabilities and their caretakers, so that makes me proud to be a part of this agency”.
Mike Trafton is the Area Coordinator for the CSFP and Furry Friends Food Bank. He started in August of 2018. His primary tasks include supporting and recruiting volunteers, processing applications and paperwork, delivering CSFP boxes and pet food to sites, purchasing pet food to meet the needs of the consumers, setting up new sites and outreach for the programs. In Mike’s own words, he states: “I like this job because I enjoy working with the senior population and the volunteers”.
For more information about the CSFP and Furry Friends programs, you can visit our website www.eaaa.org or call 941-2865 Ext. 167. We will be happy to assist you with filling out an application right over the phone or you can fill out an application in person at one of our distribution sites, including the Piscataquis Regional Food Center.