WASHINGTON, DC—AARP Foundation will continue its 2017 Summer of Service to Seniors℠ with a Meal Pack Challenge event on Sunday, Aug. 6, in St. Paul, Minnesota at the University of St. Thomas AARC Field House. The Summer of Service to Seniors is a series of four events in four cities that kicked off in Memphis, Tennessee in early June.
With the support of presenting sponsor AARP® Credit Card from Chase and title sponsors The Hartford and UnitedHealth Group®, these events will bring thousands of volunteers together to fight senior poverty and hunger in cities across the country. Following the meal-packing events in Memphis, Denver and St. Paul, the Summer of Service to Seniors will conclude with a two-day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10 and 11.
In addition to two million meals already packed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Memphis and Denver in recent months, Summer of Service to Seniors volunteers will pack two million more meals at the upcoming events, for a total of four 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 survey1 funded by the Foundation this year 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 who lack 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 third 2017 Summer of Service to Seniors event will take place in the Twin Cities and include volunteers from across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region. Packaged meals will be distributed by Second Harvest Heartland to older adults in the Twin Cities area.
"In the state of Minnesota, more than 48,000 seniors are eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and over 56,000 are living in poverty," Ryerson noted. "The need is real. We encourage the community 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.
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 UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp 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.