Texas has the fourth highest hunger rate among the elderly. As Texans fight tooth and nail for their legislative priorities this session, many of the most vulnerable among us are losing a much more difficult battle – the fight against hunger.
During the month of March – National Nutrition Month – it is important to remember the nearly one in five Texans at risk of going hungry. And the problem goes well beyond our borders. Of the 51 million Americans who struggle with hunger every day, more than 6 million are over the age of 60. This is a problem we can solve.
AARP is leading the Drive to End Hunger to help alleviate hunger problems among senior citizens. This initiative includes volunteer-led food drives, individual and corporate funding campaigns, and local SNAP (formerly food stamp) enrollment assistance. We hope to make a real difference for those most susceptible to hunger.
AARP, the AARP Foundation, NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports are working together on the “Drive to End Hunger” campaign. Through its Foundation, AARP has organized donations that will provide more than 146,000 meals for hungry seniors during the opening weeks of the 2011 NASCAR season. As the program grows in size and visibility, the likelihood of shrinking hunger risk will also grow with it.
As Texans watch the Legislature decide the direction of our state, it is important to remember that the priorities and changes occur outside of the capitol as much as within it. The fight against hunger does not occur within party lines or in legislative committees. It is something that everyone can be a part of, no matter your age or political beliefs.
AARP is making fighting hunger a top priority, but we need the help of all Texans to make it to the finish line.
Across the state of Texas, food banks provide emergency aid for nearly 3 million people each year. Meals on Wheels programs give older and disabled Texans the opportunity to stay in their homes without the fear of hunger. Any gift or volunteer time to these organizations goes a long way to stopping hunger.
As long as Texans go to bed hungry, the fight will march on. AARP, food banks and hunger programs across the state will be available to make sure that the hunger issue never takes a backseat.
This National Nutrition Month, take time to think of our most vulnerable neighbors who struggle to find their next meal. Texas seniors are one of the groups across the country most susceptible to hunger risk. It’s time to reach out a helping hand to the hungry.
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