Cortez Senior Lunches Take on America’s Loneliness Epidemic | LOR Foundation
In-Progress Engagement

Cortez Senior Lunches Take on America’s Loneliness Epidemic

  • Local Champion: Southwest Health System
  • Date Funded: April 29, 2024
  • Grant Amount: $10,000

America’s loneliness epidemic has real consequences, especially for the elderly. According to a 2023 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, loneliness and isolation increase the risk of heart disease by 29%, the risk of stroke by 32%, and the risk of dementia by 50%. In Cortez, seniors have few opportunities to gather together for food and conversation. The Montezuma County Senior Center serves lunch, but residents have no choices for meals, a problem for vegetarians and vegans since all of the senior center’s meals have meat. One local decided to start a weekly lunch at the cafeteria at Southwest Memorial Hospital to bring seniors together for nutritious and healthy subsidized meals. Hoping to expand the lunches, the organizer reached out to LOR for support. LOR’s funding will help Southwest Health System extend the program to five days per week and subsidize more than 3,000 lunches for Cortez seniors, tackling loneliness through social connection and community.

Contact our community officer in Cortez. Meet Nicci Crowley
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