Hartford, CT (PRWEB) October 25, 2013
End Hunger Connecticut! and AARP Foundation continue their partnership this fall to end senior hunger. These nonprofits are hosting free infosessions at senior centers, leading town hall meetings and distributing educational materials through libraries and physicians’ offices throughout Connecticut. Building upon a successful direct mail campaign earlier in 2013 to connect food insecure seniors to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), they are conducting a second campaign in late October targeting 50,000 older adults.
“There are a number of barriers impacting older adults usage of SNAP,” Lucy Nolan, Executive Director, End Hunger Connecticut!, said. “Through our partnership with AARP Foundation, we aim to educate more seniors about SNAP while helping them overcome the awareness and access barriers that prevent them from participating.”
The first mailing targeted 25,000 older adults across Connecticut to increase awareness of and participation in SNAP. As a result of the mailing, 1450 older adults were screened for SNAP benefits by End Hunger Connecticut! with 599 of those 1450 applying for SNAP benefits. To date, 39.5% have been granted SNAP benefits by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). Of note, 17% of the applicants came from Fairfield County, Conn. which was ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011 as the 44th wealthiest county (out of 3,007 total counties) in the United States.
Persons eligible for SNAP in Connecticut must have a gross monthly income less than $1,723 for a one-person household and $2,333 for a two-person household.
“Hunger has been exacerbated by the long recession and slow recovery,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, President of AARP Foundation. “We believe that no older adult should go hungry. That’s why we will continue to help older Americans access the help they need to keep food on their tables and to keep from falling through the cracks.”
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reports only 35% of eligible seniors participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Nationally, food insecurity increased 38% among 50-59 year-olds from 2007-2009 according to the AARP Foundation Whitepaper SNAP Access Barriers Faced By Low-Income 50-59 Year-Olds. In Connecticut, 32% of all SNAP households have at least one member who is elderly or disabled.
In addition to its partnership with AARP Foundation to increase access to SNAP among seniors, End Hunger Connecticut! recently formed an Advisory Board on Nutrition for Older Adults. The Board, which includes representatives from anti-hunger and food security organizations, senior advocacy groups, service providers and senior wellness advocates, will serve as a catalyst for increasing seniors’ access to healthy foods among other vital services.
To learn more about End Hunger Connecticut!’s senior nutrition and SNAP initiatives, visit: http://www.endhungerct.org.
Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger, the initiative has donated more than 27.1 million meals.
To learn more or to get involved, please visit http://www.DriveToEndHunger.org.
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About End Hunger Connecticut!
End Hunger Connecticut! is a statewide anti-hunger and food security organization. By focusing on advocacy, outreach, education and research, EHC! serves as a comprehensive anti-hunger resource for community organizations, legislators, and low-income families. To learn more, visit: http://www.endhungerct.org.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is the charitable affiliate of AARP. Learn more at http://www.aarpfoundation.org.