** COVID-19 has increased the need for food resources and access to food statewide. **
** During this time, it is even more vital that older adults have access to healthy foods. **
Food Finder Maps
Use the links below to find food resources in your community such as food pantries and farmers markets (SNAP participating markets):
- Foodbank and Food Pantry Finder (Foodbanks.net)
- Foodbank Finder (Feeding America)
- SC Farmers' Markets and Roadside Markets Map (DHEC)
Food Assistance Programs
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
In South Carolina, SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, is administered by the SC Department of Social Services (SCDSS). The SNAP benefit provides a monthly supplement towards the purchase of nutritious food. Qualified individuals will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card for approved food items. The South Carolina Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) makes it easier for older individuals to apply for and get SNAP benefits.
Mail-in SNAP application: DSS ESAP Application
Access to the On-line SNAP application portal: SCMAPP
You may be eligible for SNAP if household members are:
- 60 years and older
- do not have earned income
- do not already get SNAP benefits
SC Thrive is a designated DSS SNAP outreach partner offering direct assistance with the application process. The SC Thrive Contact Center can be reached by calling 1-800-726-8774.
SCDSS Healthy Bucks Program
The SCDSS Healthy Bucks program allows SNAP recipients to obtain additional fresh fruits and vegetables when they use their SNAP benefits to purchase fresh produce at participating farmer's markets. SNAP recipients who purchase at least $5 with their SNAP EBT card receive $15 in Healthy Bucks tokens to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables. Learn more and find participating farmer’s markets here.
The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
SFMNP is a seasonal USDA grant program administered by SCDSS. Eligible seniors are provided with vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from participating local farmers markets. This program runs from May 1 up until October 15 on an annual basis.
See the link below for DSS SFMNP webpage and application access (applications are only available during active enrollment time-frame). You may contact your local AAA if assistance with SFMNP application is needed.
Good nutrition is important at any age, but there are certain vitamins and minerals that are especially important to consume as an older adult.
- Calcium and Vitamin D
Aim for three servings servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products each day. Sources of calcium include: fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish with soft bones. Vitamin D foods include salmon and mackerel, eggs and fortified foods and beverages.
- Vitamin B12
Some older adults may not be able to absorb enough Vitamin B12. Fortified cereals, lean meats, and seafood are good sources of this vitamin.
Fiber-rich food help to keep you regular. Eating a higher fiber diet may lower your risk for heart disease and reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Make sure to eat whole-grain breads and cereals as well as more beans and peas. Fruits and vegetables (especially with edible skins intact) are also great sources of fiber.
Know Your Fats
Healthier fats are found in nuts, seed and avocados, vegetables and fish. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and trans fats to help reduce your risk of heart disease.