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Jeff Gordon and Drive to End Hunger Chevy head to Martinsville as Meal Donations after Fontana top 216,000

New survey finds Americans 50+ consider hunger an important issue, particularly in the Latino community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      

April 1, 2011

CONTACT                                           

202-434-2560               

media@aarp.org 


Jeff Gordon and Drive to End Hunger Chevy head to Martinsville as Meal Donations after Fontana top 216,000

New survey finds Americans 50+ consider hunger an important issue, particularly in the Latino community


WASHINGTON— AARP Foundation today announced that Drive to End Hunger, a national effort led by AARP and AARP Foundation to end hunger among older Americans, has organized donations that will provide more than 216,000 meals for hungry seniors during the first two months of the 2011 NASCAR season. Building momentum for the initiative, four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet Team finished 18th at Sunday’s Auto Club Speedway 400 in Fontana, Calif., and look for their eighth win this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

Last week AARP Foundation made a $10,000 donation on behalf of Drive to End Hunger to Second Harvest Food Bank Serving Riverside & San Bernardino Counties, near Fontana, Calif., to help feed hungry seniors in the Inland Empire. Along with food donations collected during a special event and food drive at Ralphs in Fontana, the effort provided more than 70,000 meals to Second Harvest.

“We’re so pleased to be making a difference for people struggling with hunger  in California and around the country,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins. “We congratulate Jeff and the team on a great race this weekend and thank NASCAR fans, and everyone who has donated, for their support.”

The announcement comes on the heels of new research from AARP that shows 83 percent of older Americans consider hunger to be an important issue in the United States, and many also are taking action: two-thirds of adults 50+ have donated money to an organization providing food to those in need (67%) and a similar percentage (66%) donated food in the last year. 

“Perceptions of Hunger Among Adults 50+,” also found that in the Hispanic community, where more than a third of people struggle with hunger, 85 percent of people say hunger is an important issue. Thirty-five percent agree it is the single most important issue facing the United States, compared with only 14 percent of the general population. 

“In this day and age, the number of Latinos and other older Americans who struggle daily with hunger is alarming. An estimated 29.4 percent of Hispanics are frequently short on food. This means that Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to go hungry as the rest of the population—which is particularly alarming in communities like Fontana, where more than 60%of the population is Hispanic,” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, executive vice president for Multicultural Markets & Engagement at AARP. “AARP is committed to eliminating hunger among older Americans and will continue to support the needs of Hispanic seniors through all of the Drive to End Hunger efforts.”  

Through AARP’s sponsorship of the No. 24 Chevrolet, AARP Foundation 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.

Race fans and the public can donate to Drive to End Hunger by visiting DriveToEndHunger.org or texting “hunger” to 50555.  (A $10 donation will go to AARP Foundation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance.  Message and Data Rates May Apply. You will receive two confirmation texts. Reply STOP to 50555 to STOP. Reply HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: www.mGive.org/T.)

The telephone survey was conducted on December 15-20, 2010 by GFK among a nationally representative sample of 1330 adults age 50 or older  and among 501 Hispanics age 50 or older (margins of error +/- 3 and +/- 6 percentage points, respectively). Full survey results are available at http://www.aarp.org/hunger-perceptions


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.aarp.org/foundation.


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