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AARP Seeks Volunteers to Help Fight Hunger in Iowa

As part of the AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger, AARP Iowa is recruiting volunteers to assist seniors in the application process for the Iowa Food Assistance Program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps.

See Also: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Nearly 9 million people nationwide, age 50 and over, are at risk of hunger every day according to a recent AARP Foundation report entitled, “Food Insecurity among Older Adults”. In Iowa it’s estimated that 5.5 percent of people 50+ face the risk of hunger.

Drive to End Hunger campaign is a multipronged effort by AARP and AARP Foundation to not only raise awareness of the issue of food insecurity but end hunger among seniors. The AARP Foundation report found that in 2009, 4.9 million 50- to 59-year-olds in the U.S. were at risk of hunger representing a staggering 38 percent increase over 2007 numbers.

“The tough economy has had an impact on seniors, and we know that there are many elderly in our state that qualify for SNAP benefits but don’t know it,” said Kent Sovern, AARP Iowa State Director. “We’re helping to lead this effort as part of AARP’s Drive to End Hunger to recruit volunteers who could assist older people in applying for the Iowa Food Assistance Program through the remainder of this year.”

Sovern adds that people interested in volunteering would be required to attend a one-day computer training to learn about application process. Volunteers are needed across the state, and primarily in the counties of: Allamakee, Audubon, Bremer, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Clayton, Johnson, Kossuth, Mills, Mitchell, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Sac, Shelby, Story, Sioux and Winneshiek.

“We’re working with the Iowa Food Bank Association in this effort,” added Sovern. People interested in volunteering should contact Cindy Jones by email at cjones1@feedingamerica.org or 319-529-0533, or Amy Costliow by email at acostliow@feedingamerica.org or 319-529-0566.

For more information and late-breaking news about AARP Iowa visit AARP Iowa Facebook and Twitter.

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