Hunger is a major problem for many older adults. Between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of poor and near-poor older Americans who weren't sure they would have enough to eat more than doubled — from 4.7 percent to 10.1 percent, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute
That’s why the AARP and the AARP Foundation are behind the wheel of a major initiative to fight hunger. The organizations are joining Hendrick Motorsports and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon for the Drive to End Hunger, an unprecedented three-year initiative to address the growing problem of hunger among older Americans.
However, before this high-profile collaboration began, many AARP Chapters were already addressing the problem of hunger among older Arkansans. Among them is the Southwest Little Rock Chapter. Each month, the group donates to area churches that house food pantries. They rotate the donations among five churches in the area to help the most people possible.
It’s a project of which chapter president Rick Thompson is particularly proud.
“Our chapter is a good group of people,” said Thompson. “I have fantastic officers, a great board and wonderful volunteers who help get things done.”
Thompson credits the group for being so generous with their time and money for causes that are important to the community. “I’ve seen members bring in five or six sacks full of food to be donated,” added Thompson, who is in his third year as chapter president.
“Through the work of our local chapters AARP is able to help make things better for society,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz, AARP Arkansas state director. “We hope that the Drive to End Hunger encourages even more people to donate or volunteer for the cause.”
The Southwest Little Rock chapter joins many others across the state in addressing important issues in their communities.
Learn how to be a part of this or any other chapter online.