AARP Arkansas sponsored a food drive Sept. 13 at the Walmart Supercenter on Shackleford Road in Little Rock featuring four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet show car. An estimated 1,050 pounds of food were collected to benefit hungry Arkansans served by the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot.
Volunteers from AARP Arkansas, the Arkansas Foodbank, the Arkansas Rice Depot and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, helped to collect food and related supplies during the four-hour food drive. As Walmart shoppers entered the store, they were offered flyers with information on food items that would particularly benefit Arkansans 50 and older, who are among the most at risk of hunger in our state.
In addition to food collection, there also were giveaways, photos with the show car and information provided on how to access benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
Of the 51 million Americans facing the threat of hunger, nearly 9 million are age 50 or older and more than 6 million are age 60 and older. Unfortunately, Arkansas has the fifth-highest rate of food insecurity—being at risk of hunger—in the nation for those 50 and older and also for those 60 and older, according to a comprehensive report on hunger released Aug. 30 by AARP Foundation.
Maria Reynolds-Diaz, State Director of AARP Arkansas, thanked AARP’s partner organizations, AARP volunteers and those who donated food for their generosity.
“The statistics show that older Arkansans unfortunately are among those most at risk of hunger in the United States,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “The wonderful turnout at our event shows once again that even in difficult economic times, Arkansans step up to the plate and do their part to help those who are less fortunate.”
Drive to End Hunger, an initiative of AARP and AARP Foundation, is working to solve this problem. As part of AARP’s collaboration with Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, for the next three years Drive to End Hunger will raise awareness of senior hunger, collect targeted food donations, and to fund innovative local hunger relief efforts.
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