Each day, more than a million New Yorkers are forced to choose between buying groceries or the medicine they need. AARP believes that no one of any age should have to choose between filling a prescription or putting nutritious food on the table.
During the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 2, AARP is working with food assistance groups throughout the state to help connect older New Yorkers to food programs and benefits and to encourage our members to volunteer in the fight against hunger.
“About half of New Yorkers who are eligible for food stamp benefits do not apply,” said Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. “That is why we are encouraging people to go to our Create The Good web site to find out about programs like food stamp benefits and local food pantries for themselves or a loved one. They can also look for ways to volunteer to help others. Just go to CreateTheGood.org/FoodHelp and type in your zip code.”
Volunteer opportunities include working at local food pantries, donating to food banks, assisting at food stamp enrollment sites, or downloading AARP’s Create The Good toolkit to learn how to organize your own food drive.
“Whether you have five minutes or five hours, you can change the life of another person,” said Aronstein.
Create The Good can help New Yorkers find out if they are eligible or food stamp benefits and link them to enrollment sites.
“New changes to the food stamp benefit have made more people eligible,” said Aronstein. “For instance, you may qualify even if you work, receive Social Security, SSI, and/or retirement benefits. You may also be eligible if you own a home or car, have money in the bank, or live with others.”
In addition, the new food stamp card looks like a debit card. No one but you and your grocery clerk knows what the card is for. Finding out if you qualify is easy; you can go online or call to find out if you may qualify. And it’s important to know that you are not taking the benefit from someone else who needs them. Food stamp benefits also help the economy. Every $5 used in food stamps puts $10 in the economy.
“In these economic times, making ends meet has become harder and harder for so many families and older adults in New York City, said Aronstein. “Food stamp benefits can help older adults stretch their income and purchase nutritious foods.”
About Create The Good
Create The Good is a network of people sharing tools and ideas to help make a difference on their own or in groups in their communities. It is powered by AARP and the AARP Foundation’s more than nine million volunteers, donors and activists. Create The Good offers local volunteer opportunities as well as ideas for self-directed activities and how-to videos for simple service projects people can organize on their own, like weatherizing homes, starting healthy walking groups, fighting fraud, preparing for a hurricane and other needs.