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AARP believes that no one – of any age – should go hungry. Yet many older people must make the devastating choice to either pay for their medications or their groceries. In these tough economic times, AARP remains committed to connecting those in need with information and access to programs that offer real help with basic life needs. The AARP Foundation is exploring new ways to do that – and Create The Good has its own role to play. By encouraging and supporting volunteers in donating food, organizing a food drive or helping friends and neighbors sign up for SNAP (food stamps), we can help increase food security in communities across the country.
What you can do
Forty percent of boomers and older Americans want to do more to serve their communities, and many in that group would prefer to volunteer in a flexible, unstructured way. According to a 2009 AARP telephone survey, 36% of older Americans are interested in collecting, preparing, distributing or serving food. This Create The Good campaign provides people the tools and resources to do that - and to fight hunger through other means – in their own way, on their own time, so that the experience is meaningful to them and fits with their lifestyle.
You can be part of the solution by donating food and/or money, organizing a food drive, helping with local hunger-related activities, like helping raise enrollment in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Organizing a food drive is one of the most effective ways to address hunger in your community. It’s easy with Create The Good’s step-by-step how-to guide on How to Organize a Food Drive.
You can also help Feed a Family in Need. Regardless of how much (or little) time you have, Create The Good wants you to be involved. Visit www.CreateTheGood.org/hunger to get engaged and make a difference around hunger.
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest federally-funded source of food for low-income older adults. But while 7 million older adults are eligible for SNAP, only about 2.4 million participate in the program. Learn how you can use SNAP to help feed someone suffering from hunger.
Community gardens: Many community gardens donate produce to food pantries and may be willing to donate food directly to a senior in need. All community gardens have leaders. Stop by a garden and ask whom you should contact. (Also see our How to Start or Join a Community Garden how-to guide.)
Hunger among older Americans is a real and growing problem. We invite all AARP members and volunteers to get involved in this campaign by: