These statistics reflect progress, but are only a drop in the very deep bucket that is hunger in this country. Hunger Action Month encourages individuals and organizations to dedicate time over the next 30 days to take meaningful action against hunger, and the AARP Foundation is happy to be participating.
As we did last year, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 14, the AARP Foundation is holding an online fundraising campaign for Drive to End Hunger, encouraging potential donors to create fundraising websites to reach out to friends and family. Our goal is to raise $15,000 by Sept. 14 to contribute toward our fight against hunger, and it's a fun, easy way for people to get involved and show their support.
We're also excited about the overwhelming response to our two InnoCentive.com challenge questions. To date, we have received 388 proposed solutions to eliminating hunger, and 415 solutions to reducing the number of food deserts in the United States. The challenge is open until Sept. 20, so be sure to forward the information to colleagues who might be interested in participating.
Finally, we are working with our colleagues in AARP Multicultural Markets and Engagement (MME) to address the unique problems with hunger among the older Latino community. Eligible Latinos have low rates of SNAP participation, and increasing unemployment among the group is increasing their risk of hunger. Today, about 29 percent are at risk of hunger, compared with 11.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
In response to the Latino hunger problem, the AARP Foundation and MME have been working with LATINO magazine on No Mas Hambre, a grassroots initiative to raise awareness about the hunger problem in the Latino community. National Spanish Heritage Month starts Sept. 15, and we are helping to sponsor the many No Mas Hambre activities that follow, including the Atlanta Regional Summit in October, the Philadelphia Regional Summit in November and the group's National Summit in D.C. The AARP Foundation will have a speaker at these events, as well as the Iowa and New York Hunger Summits.
We expected participation across AARP and the AARP Foundation to increase in our Drive to End Hunger initiative this year, and it has. We are off to a great start on and off the track: continuing to work together to feed the hungry now, while also developing the long-term, sustainable solutions to the root causes of hunger.
Jo Ann Jenkins is president of the AARP Foundation.
Also of interest: Hungry in America videos put faces on the crisis.