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Drive to End Hunger Comes to South Florida

It’s been a thrilling year for NASCAR fans, with amazing wins by rookies and standout performances by well-known stars, including four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon.

See Also: Drive to End Hunger a Winner for Food Banks

It’s also been a great year for AARP’s Drive to End Hunger, which wraps up its on-track efforts at the last great NASCAR face-off of 2011 on Nov. 20 at the Miami-Homestead Speedway during the NASCAR Ford Championship 400 race.

“We’ve seen inspiring results this year in our efforts to fight hunger among older Floridians,” said AARP Florida Interim State Director Jeff Johnson. “It started last February at the Daytona 500, where enough food and money was contributed to feed more than 77,000 people, and it’s just kept going with food drives and hunger-awareness events throughout the year.”

Johnson will join other AARP leaders in Miami Nov. 17 for a last push to collect food and raise money for hungry older Floridians. AARP members and other South Florida racefans are invited to the Southland Mall, 20505 S. Dixie Highway, for a celebration highlighted by Jeff Gordon’s famous #24 racecar itself. Event-goers are invited to bring a non-perishable food item, which will be contributed to Feeding South Florida. WKIS-FM Radio will provide music and fun. The AARP Foundation also will present Feeding South Florida with a $10,000 check, which will help the food bank distribute $80,000 worth of free food to hungry South Floridians.

“This initiative has helped us focus public attention on a serious and growing problem – senior hunger,” Johnson said. “In just the last two years, the number of older Americans at risk of hunger has increased by half, and in Florida, about 7 percent of those 50 or older are struggling to get enough to eat. In South Florida alone, this means that tens of thousands of our neighbors are having to choose between getting enough to eat, buying the prescription drugs they need to stay alive, or paying the rent.”

Race fans also can help – and save a little money – by buying the Homestead-Miami Speedway Drive to End Hunger Combo Pack. Each Combo Pack includes two race tickets, two 20-oz. Pepsi products and two hot dogs for $99. Five dollars from the cost of each Combo Pack will be donated to AARP Foundation in support of the Drive to End Hunger. (Race tickets start at $55 per person for seats near Turn Four.) Buy tickets online.

As the 2011 holiday season approaches, AARP Florida is reaching out to Floridians, asking for their help in the Drive to End Hunger.

Florida’s Drive to End Hunger campaign for 2011 kicked off Feb. 17 with a collaboration between the AARP Foundation, AARP Florida, Winn-Dixie Stores, and Hendrick Motorsports. Drive to End Hunger has been the primary sponsor for Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet in 22 NASCAR races in 2011. Gordon will continue to be sponsored by the Drive to End Hunger through the 2013 NASCAR season.

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