AARP Utah has many wonderful volunteers, but when it comes to our state “Drive to End Hunger,” Carol Jenson is at the head of the pack. Almost single-handedly, she formed a partnership between the state office and the Utah Food Bank to help them reduce hunger in Utah in a myriad of ways.
See Also: Help AARP Utah Fight Hunger
She was the AARP Utah lead and host of the Utah Food Bank Fundraising event, “Night at the Warehouse Gala,” which raised thousands of dollars to help the food bank collect, store, and deliver food to hundreds of people in need every day. She recruited AARP Utah staff and volunteers to attend the event and developed a permanent volunteer opportunity to deliver food boxes to older Utahns on a weekly basis. On average, she delivers 200-300 pounds of food per week to help the food bank with its mission.
This has inspired the AARP Utah staff to volunteer monthly to deliver food boxes as part of our “community builders” outreach, and we will spend our Day of Service working with the food bank as well. We’ve also teamed with them to create a special link on their website where AARP Utah members can donate time, money or food to help with our state “Drive to End Hunger” campaign. AARP Board President Lee Hammond will be visiting Utah for our Volunteer Summit and Andrus Award Celebration in October, and he will be volunteering with us as part of our monthly team effort.
While Carol’s contributions to the “Drive to End Hunger” campaign are outstanding, it should be noted that she serves as Salt Lake County’s Area Coordinator for AARP Utah (with co-Area Coordinator Art Sutherland) and has contributed to our priority issues in several other ways as well; she was instrumental in establishing a relationship between AARP Utah and the University of Utah School of Pharmacy to help present our “Wise Use of Medications” program, so that participants could ask questions directly to health professionals. She has also given several “Staying Sharp” presentations on brain fitness in the Salt Lake City area to supplement the programs we offer statewide with the University of Utah Brain Institute.
We appreciate the contributions of volunteers like Carol who help AARP fulfill its social change mission across the country. We could not succeed without the strength of our volunteers and members in Utah.