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Drive to End Hunger Makes First Donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

With Help of Four-Time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon, Effort is Fighting Hunger Among Seniors

Altamonte Springs, Fla. – As race fans everywhere prepare for this weekend’s Daytona 500, Drive to End Hunger (DTEH) kicked off the race season this morning with a major donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Working with Feeding America and Winn-Dixie, DTEH presented the food bank with $10,000 to help feed hungry seniors in central Florida. Additional donations are being collected at the “Winn-Dixie Winner’s Circle,” a food drive at central Florida Winn-Dixie stores that continues through Sunday.

DTEH is an initiative of AARP and AARP Foundation to help the millions of older Americans who are facing hunger across the United States. As the primary sponsor of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet, the effort will engage the NASCAR fan base, corporations and charitable organizations via a text-to-donate program; activation at racetracks across the country; further research on the causes and consequences of hunger in older Americans; and an innovative national grant program that will provide resources to address the problem at a local level.

“We’re excited to kick off the racing season by making a real difference for seniors around the Daytona area who are struggling to put food on the table,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins. “We are so pleased to work with groups like Feeding America, Winn-Dixie and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to shed a light on the issue and help address older adult hunger. This donation is just the beginning of what we can accomplish when we harness the power of the NASCAR community and like-minded organizations to solve a problem that millions of older Americans face every day.”

“The Feeding America network is serving 3 million elderly Americans from all walks of life,” said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. “After a lifetime of work, many seniors are living on fixed incomes that often force them to choose between paying for healthcare or prescriptions and buying groceries. Because of the ongoing need, it is our goal to increase the number of meals served to the senior population by 25 percent in the next 5 years.”

“As a grocer, we are concerned about the number of Americans seeking food assistance in today’s economy, especially the older population in Central Florida, and we are very pleased to be a part of the solution,” said Larry White, director of operations for Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. “Our partnership with AARP, Feeding America and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is making a meaningful impact in the fight against hunger.”

“Frankly, some of the most tragic stories we hear locally of people struggling to put food on the table involve our older neighbors,” said Dave Krepcho, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “Much too often they’re forced to choose between food and things like medicine or the roof over their heads. Important partnerships like this one will help provide health and dignity for a lot more seniors this year.”

Shoppers in central Florida can find Winn-Dixie Winner’s Circle food drives at www.DriveToEndHunger.org. Donations to Drive to End Hunger can also be made on the web site or by texting “hunger” to 50555 (message and data rates may apply).

UnitedHealthgroup and Chase Card Services are proud sponsors of Drive to End Hunger.

For more information, please visit www.DriveToEndHunger.org ▸

ABOUT AARP FOUNDATION: AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. The Foundation is dedicated to serving vulnerable people 50+ by creating solutions that help them secure the essentials and achieve their best life. AARP Foundation focuses on: hunger, housing, income and isolation as our key mission areas. The Foundation envisions: “a country free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable.” Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP. For more information about AARP Foundation, please log on to www.aarpfoundation.org.

ABOUT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: Since 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 13 championships in NASCAR’s top three divisions and 194 victories in the sanctioning body’s premier series, the Sprint Cup. The organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the Sprint Cup Series circuit with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Headquartered in Concord, N.C., Hendrick Motorsports employs more than 500 people. For more information about Hendrick Motorsports, please visit www.HendrickMotorsports.comwww.twitter.com/TeamHendrick and www.facebook.com/HendrickMotorsports.

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AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202-434-2560

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