May 30, 2017
AARP Foundation Announces Expanded Summer of Service to Seniors℠ Aimed at Raising Awareness of Older Adult Poverty and Food Insecurity
Four cities to host meal-packing events; AARP Foundation releases survey results showing grocery shopping disparities

WASHINGTON, DCAARP Foundation today announced the expansion of its annual meal pack challenge from one event in Washington, D.C., to a Summer of Service to Seniors℠ involving four events in four cities, beginning in Memphis, Tennessee. With the support of presenting sponsor AARP® Credit Card from Chase, and title sponsors The Hartford and UnitedHealthcare®, these events will bring thousands of volunteers together to fight senior poverty and hunger in cities across the country. Meal-packing events will take place in Memphis on June 3, Denver on July 9, Minneapolis-St. Paul on August 6, and the culminating two-day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on September 10 and 11.

In addition to 1 million meals already packed in Ft. Lauderdale last month, Summer of Service to Seniors volunteers will pack 3 million meals at the four upcoming events, for a grand total of 4 million meals this year for hungry seniors.

Data from the 2012 Current Population Survey and the 2010 census show that more than 10 million Americans age 50 or older struggle every day with limited or inadequate access to affordable, nutritious food. AARP Foundation is bringing together nonprofit, government and corporate stakeholders in the food and health sectors to reform the food supply system by creating solutions to fight food insecurity and hunger.

“Even though senior hunger exists in every community across the country, it’s one of America’s best-kept secrets. Senior hunger is hidden hunger, and hunger is a health issue,” said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson.

“The issue of senior hunger is a critical one to focus on, especially as the senior population will nearly double by 2040 according to Feeding America,” said Leslie Gillin, President of Co-Brand Cards at Chase. “We are proud to once again be part of the Summer of Service to Seniors and, through the AARP Credit Card from Chase program, will continue to raise funds to combat this issue alongside AARP Foundation.”

A survey[1] funded by the Foundation last month shows a disconnect between how respondents save money on groceries and the realities faced by those with food insecurity.

  • Roughly 65 percent of respondents purchased store-brand (generic) items to save money, while many low-income older adults live in identified “food deserts” and may not have any access to generic items.
  • Over half of respondents shopped at multiple grocery stores to find the best deal. By contrast, low-income older adults with mobility issues or lack of transportation, or who live in areas with only one grocery store, are unable to take advantage of comparison shopping in this way.

“By expanding our Summer of Service to Seniors to four cities, we’re calling attention to the fact that too many low-income older adults have to choose between buying groceries and using that money for other essentials, like medicine. The negative impact on well-being is enormous,” Ryerson said.

Meal packing events during the Summer of Service to Seniors are part of AARP Foundation’s larger effort to increase economic opportunities and social connections that help prevent and reduce senior poverty.

The first 2017 Summer of Service to Seniors event will take place in Memphis and include volunteers from across the state of Tennessee. “In Memphis, more than 140,000 seniors receive SNAP benefits,” Ryerson noted. “The need is real. We encourage Memphians to learn more and volunteer to help vulnerable older adults in their communities.”

For details on how to volunteer and other information, visit MealPackChallenge.org.

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About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income older adults have nutritious food, affordable, livable and healthy housing, a steady income, and strong and sustaining bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP. Learn more at aarpfoundation.org.

About Chase
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: 5,300 branches, 18,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to Chase.com.

About The Hartford
The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at https://www.thehartford.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford_PR.

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care professionals and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.


[1] The study was conducted for AARP Foundation by Research Now®, an independent research company, via its OmniPulse® Omnibus Survey. This online survey was fielded from March 20-23, 2017, among a sample of 1,232 respondents age 18+. The sampling is U.S. Census balanced through outbound targeting on age, ethnicity, gender, region and income.

For further information: Colton Moore, 212.536.9838, colton.moore@coburnww.com, media@aarp.org, @AARPMedia