Too many people in Maine are going hungry. It may be hard to imagine, but it is estimated that 130,000 of our neighbors and friends are currently experiencing what is known as “food insecurity.” In other words, they do not have enough money to eat.
The facts about hunger in America paint an alarming picture. About 51 million people nationwide are going hungry. Of those, more than six million are over the age of 60. Maine currently ranks second in the nation for very low food security.
In the colder months, hunger issues become even more apparent. Utility costs are on the rise along with unemployment. In fact, unemployment among older people is at its highest level in 60 years.
AARP Maine is committed to addressing food insecurity, particularly for the elderly in our state. We are a member of the Maine Hunger Initiative, whose mission it is to advocate for solutions to hunger and other problems. This autumn, AARP Maine is going to be working with its six chapters to take up the challenge and collect food to feed Maine’s hungry. If we begin our work together now, we can make sure that Maine’s food pantries are fully stocked in time for winter when our state’s most vulnerable citizens need the most help.
AARP Maine’s chapters are located in Portland, Bangor, Gardiner, Millinocket, Sanford and South Paris. If you are interested in working with your local chapter, please contact them directly.
If you would like to help in your own community, please contact your local food pantry and see how you can best get involved. You might consider contacting your local supermarket to see if they would be willing to have food collection boxes at the store. Every donation can make a life-saving difference.
To learn more about AARP’s efforts at the national level to combat hunger in America, please visit Drive to End Hunger.