The numbers from the 2020 census will help determine how — and where — billions of dollars in federal funding get spent each year for the next decade. Many government programs that help older adults receive at least part of their money through formulas based on the census count. Whether you're older yourself or you have loved ones who are older, it's critical to make sure everyone in every household gets counted.
Medicare is one of the most well-known federal programs for older Americans that relies on census data to help determine funding or the eligibility of people to participate. Here are five smaller ones:
1. Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
This job-training and employment program helps people age 55 and older get back into the workforce after they have been unemployed. AARP Foundation is one nonprofit organization that uses SCSEP funding to help people find jobs. “I knew that I wanted to do something that would be beneficial to other people, and I knew that I had something to offer,” says Darlena Gainer, a former retiree who found work at the Trinity Café food kitchen in Tampa, Florida, through AARP Foundation's program.
2. Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
Fresh vegetables and fruits are important parts of a healthy diet at any age, but they aren't always affordable. Each year, SFMNP provides 800,000 people age 60 and older from low-income households with a small stipend to buy locally grown produce. Participants get to eat a little healthier while also supporting nearby farmers and farmers markets.