Did you know that 4.6 million people age 65 and older are living in poverty*? Would you be surprised to learn that more than 10 million Americans age 50 or older struggle every day with limited or inadequate access to affordable and nutritious food^? We certainly were, and our Hello! Washington, D.C. team decided to do something about it by joining the AARP Foundation at their 2018 Summer of Service to Seniors Meal Pack Challenge on the National Mall. During its three-city tour of Memphis, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., volunteers were challenged to help lessen the burden of senior hunger in their communities by packing a total of 2.5 million meals that would be donated to local food banks and distributed to local seniors in need.
National Account Executive Elizabeth Korondy spearheaded our teams' involvement with the Challenge, and seeks to combat the stigmas surrounding "the elderly." She says, "AARP has opened my eyes to the staggering number of those that are older and hungry. The Meal Pack Challenge was a great opportunity to give back to those in our community that are in need of our help. During the event, I paused to take a moment and think about the impact we were making that day and just how far the bags would go to feed those in need. The time is now to be mindful and to really start taking care of those who have taken care of us."
Hello! Washington, D.C. General Manager Danielle Kambic was fully on board to support the cause. "The team really enjoyed the experience and loved knowing that we were helping others while enjoying the experience in a high-energy environment. It meant so much to us to be there and knowing that the food we were preparing was going to actually help someone have a meal," she said.
"Hunger is a health issue," says Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation. "Seniors who are food insecure are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or a heart attack, and three times more likely to suffer from depression."
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connections. As AARP's charitable affiliate, they serve AARP members and non-members alike. Learn more about how you can help the AARP Foundation build a future without senior poverty by visiting https://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/.
*2016 Census Bureau survey^2010 Census Bureau survey