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AARP Works with Food Banks to Expand and Start Senior Hunger Programs

As part of Drive to End Hunger, AARP Oklahoma is working with the state’s two food banks to help older Oklahomans.

See Also: Drive to End Hunger

AARP worked with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma on a strategic six-month plan that culminated this summer with the launch of new senior mobile pantries and a new senior program.

In June, Oklahoma volunteers, chapter members, executive council and staff spent a day helping launch new senior mobile pantries in Shawnee, Tecumseh and Seminole. Among those attending the launch were officials from the Regional Food Bank, Shawnee Mayor Linda Peterson, Oklahoma Speaker of the House Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, State Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh, State Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, and housing authority officials.

The new mobile pantries will deliver fresh produce, bread and nonperishable food sacks to residents of at local housing authorities monthly and will be funded in part by AARP.

Speaker Steele praised AARP’s efforts to help seniors in Shawnee.

“We have some of the best leadership as far as AARP is concerned of any state in the nation,” Steele said. “They work diligently on behalf of seniors every single day. To have the opportunity to be here today to celebrate this wonderful gift that AARP has secured to help our seniors is especially a joy to me. ”

Mayor Peterson noted that, in addition to hunger, she has been working with AARP on walkability and transportation projects in Shawnee.

In addition to the new mobile pantry in Shawnee, AARP is also working with the Regional Food Bank to launch another new mobile senior pantry in Tecumseh, which is also located in Pottawatomie County, along with three other new senior mobile pantries in Seminole, Oklahoma City and Norman.

As a result of AARP’s collaboration, the Regional Food Bank is now able to deliver food to an additional 500 residents each month at 18 mobile pantry sites. And, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the food bank, AARP has announced it is recruiting volunteers to work at mobile food pantries across the state.

AARP volunteers and chapter members helped launch a new senior program called “Serving Seniors” with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma in July. Senior Servings was launched as a pilot program funded by AARP, in a food dessert located in north Tulsa and is the Community Food Bank’s first senior program.

Two other Serving Senior sites are scheduled to launch later this year in Osage and Nowata County.

In addition, AARP has been working with both food banks to recruit volunteers to support mobile food pantries and the Serving Seniors program. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact AARP at ok@aarp.org.

Oklahoma teamed up with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma last year. Governor Mary Fallin, R, declared 2011 as Drive to End Hunger Year in Oklahoma.

Watch a video about the new senior mobile pantries.

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