DRIVE TO END HUNGER
A Strategic Approach to Ending 50+ Hunger
We know that ending hunger is about more than providing meals. It requires a deep understanding of the systemic issues that keep people from accessing adequate, healthy food. With the growing number of seniors facing hunger, rising food costs, and ongoing funding reductions for food security programs like the Supplemental Nutritution Assistance Program (SNAP), it is more important than ever to find effective wys to improve food security.
That’s why, in February 2011, AARP Foundation initiated Drive to End Hunger, a multiyear nationwide campaign to raise awareness and funds to address the problem of hunger among people 50+, and develop both short-term and long-term solutions to the hunger problem.
How Are We Doing This?
Education. Few Americans are aware of the struggles facing older adults, particularly when it comes to food security. While educating the public on the issues, AARP Foundation works to expand our understanding of the variables that increase the risk of hunger for seniors.
Engagement. Supporting on-the-ground activities that address hunger - such as meal packing and SNAP application assistance - and providing specific, rewarding actions for individuals and communities.
Mutually Beneficial Partnerships. Whether it is working with another national non-profit organization or a local food bank, AARP Foundation encourages and supports strategic partnerships across sectors and industries. By working together, we can maximize our resources and reach.
How Is Drive to End Hunger Helping?
The chief priorities of Drive to End Hunger are to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger among adults 50+, and to provide short and long-term solutions to the problem of older adult hunger. These include:
- Helping hard-working, trusted organizations in communities across America who have been doing a heroic job helping hungry people age 50+. Because the number of people in crisis is still growing, it’s a challenge to reach everyone and ensure people know where to find help. That’s where we come in. AARP is working side by side with organizations nationwide so we can reach more people and make resources go further.
- An innovative, cause-related collaboration with four-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick to increase knowledge about and support for ending hunger among older Americans. In 2013, the program expanded beyond the track to include partnerships with NFL, NBA, and FIFA.
- Commissioning research into the problem, including “Food Insecurity among Older Adults,” the first research ever to look at hunger among those 50-59.
- Educating and enrolling hungry older people in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Today, just one-third of those 60+ who are eligible for SNAP are enrolled; two-thirds are not.
- Providing $1.9 million in Hunger Impact grants to local nonprofit organizations to develop or expand innovative and scalable anti-hunger programs for adults 50+.
How Is Drive to End Hunger Funded?
Drive To End Hunger is funded through donations from individuals, corporations and other non-profits and through a unique cause-marketing campaign with NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick.
In 2013, 23 organizational sponsors and supporters joined Drive to End Hunger. Through their generosity, we have helped many older Americans find a meal while also raising money for long-term solutions to the hunger issue. By working together, we create a multiplier effect — coming together to reach more people, work more efficiently, and make our collective resources go further. With grants, research, and community outreach, we are helping to make a difference, one community at a time.
(Portland (ME) Press Herald, Oct. 2014) A overreliance on donated food points to larger problems related to poverty and economic instability that call for more comprehensive solutions. Read
(WCNC-TV, Oct. 2014) A broadcast on a hunger summit hosted by AARP and AARPF in North Carolina highlights AARP’s initiatives to combat hunger among seniors. Watch
(National Geographic, August 2014) - In daily scramble for food, about 1 in 7 Americans now rely on local aid programs. Read