Over five million older Americans are at risk of hunger, and each day millions of older adults choose between buying groceries or the medicine they need. This is a devastating choice that no one should have to make.
The AARP Foundation believes that choosing between medicine, food, and the other basic necessities of life is no choice at all. In fact, access to affordable, appropriate, and nutritious food – and the government supports and local programs that help provide it --are critical in helping older Americans maintain good health and independence during the second half of their lives.
Exploring Solutions for Change
The purpose of 2010 Poverty and Aging Hunger Forum was to share and promote promising new solutions to help eliminate food insecurity and hunger among low-income older Americans. In collaboration with AARP State Offices, national advocacy groups, government agencies, and local community- and faith-based anti-hunger organizations, AARP Foundation explored new programs and partnerships to advance four core strategies:
Donate money and food. Expand outreach to individuals and local communities to provide financial support and in-kind donations to increase lower-income older Americans’ access to culturally- and age-appropriate foods.
Volunteer time and skills. Increase the number of volunteers dedicated to ending older adult hunger and food insecurity and expand volunteer outreach, training and supports at the state and local levels.
Engage business. Encourage businesses to work with local organizations and government entities to develop public-private partnerships designed to reduce older adult hunger and food insecurity in their communities.
Encourage Enrollment in SNAP. Help eligible older Americans get, keep, and use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to buy nutritious food.