Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fighting Senior Hunger in Valencia County

Did you know that May is Older Americans Month?  I know, we all want to be young at heart.  And commemorating this month is equivalent of getting that first mailing from AARP, right? 

The focus of Older Americans Month, which has been in place since 1963, is to to honor and recognize older Americans for the contributions they make to our families, communities and society.  But here is an important reason why President John F. Kennedy established this commemoration.  "About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs."
According to Feeding America, nearly 3 million elderly persons are served by one of its food bank affiliates each year. 18.6 percent of client households have at least one member who is age 65 or over, and 52 percent of these households are food insecure - an estimated 1.2 million households.

"Food insecurity among this vulnerable population is especially troublesome because they have unique nutritional needs and may require special diets for medical conditions," said Feeding America. "Additionally, older Americans have a continuum of need based on their mobility and ability to prepare meals."

Valencia County  (just south of Albuquerque) has joined forces with the home-care company Comfort Keepers to collect non-perishable food items to distribute among low-income seniors within the county borders, and more importantly to raise awareness that many seniors suffer from food insecurity. 

So what is your local or state government to commemorate Older Americans Month? And more importantly, what is being done locally to help raise awareness about senior hunger?  At the federal level, we can make sure that SNAP and other assistance programs are not reduced, because seniors would definitely be affected.

Here is a portion of a flyer that Valencia County developed for this occasion.

Join Comfort Keepers and Valencia County Older
Americans Program Today to Fight Senior Malnutrition!

Hunger is a serious threat facing millions of seniors in the United States. It is estimated that one in nine seniors experience some form of hunger or food insecurity. Join us in support of Comfort Keepers® and the Valencia County Older American’s Program campaign to STOP Senior Hunger by making a donation of senior–friendly food at any of the following locations throughout May in recognition of National Older Americans Month

Belen Senior Center Comfort Keepers, 1202 Main St. (by appt. only)
Los Lunas Senior Center Los Lunas Village Hall
Old County Courthouse Los Lunas RSVP Office, 100 Main St., Belen
School of Dreams Academy, Los Lunas Center for Ageless Living, Los Lunas
Youth Center Goldie’s Café, Rio Communities

To speak with us about improving nutrition through our homecare services,
please call Comfort Keepers: 505.515.0001

 See original flyer  in PDF format (scroll down for list of recommended food donations)

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