20 or More Ideas of How You Can Get Involved to Fight Against Hunger
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07/26/2011 | 10:37AM


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  1. Organize a food drive: This is one of the most effective ways to address hunger in your community. Create The Good’s step-by-step how-to guide on How to Organize a Food Drive makes it easy.

  2. Volunteer at a local food pantry: Food pantries are on the front lines, helping hungry people, including seniors, get the food they need every day. You can donate food or help prepare and serve food. Check with your local food bank or pantries for opportunities.

  3. Take an older friend to dinner: Designate one night a month to take an older friend out for a nutritious meal. Connecting over food is a great way to strengthen bonds and develop and grow friendships, and help ensure that someone you know gets a healthy meal.

  4. Start or join a community garden: Community gardens can produce impressive amounts of fresh, healthy food, and you can then donate some (or all) of that bounty to local organizations to help feed hungry seniors. For more details see Create the Good’s community garden how-to guide.

  5. Help feed a family in need: Sometimes entire families are struggling to meet their nutritional needs due to economic hardship. You can help provide relief! See this Create the Good how-to guide for step-by-step details on how to do it.

  6. Spread the word about programs: Distribute flyers to let seniors know about food assistance programs. Post them at community centers, senior centers, places of worship and elsewhere, using these guidelines from the Food Research and Action Center.

  7. Engage business. Encourage businesses to work with local organizations and government entities to develop public-private partnerships designed to reduce older adult hunger and food insecurity in their communities. Get similar ideas – and much more on senior hunger – from the AARP Foundation.

  8. Help someone get the food benefit they deserve. Use our easy how-to guide to help someone check their eligibility online and/or to enroll in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

  9. Get rolling: Volunteer at Meals on Wheels or another food delivery organization. Volunteers not only prepare and deliver meals to homebound seniors, they also provide the seniors they serve with companionship and a warm, friendly smile when they arrive at the door.

  10. Volunteer time and skills:  Increase the number of volunteers dedicated to ending older adult hunger and food insecurity and expand volunteer outreach, training and supports at the state and local levels. Get similar ideas – and much more on senior hunger – from the AARP Foundation.

  11. Learn more about SNAP: Learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), (formerly known as the food stamp program) including why so many eligible seniors do not take advantage of this government program. By understanding the barriers to enrollment you can better help eligible seniors get enrolled.

  12. Volunteer at a farmer’s market: Many farmer’s markets have roles for volunteers, from setting up stalls on market day to distributing educational material and helping manage these vital community resources. Check with the group that runs your local market for details.

  13. Show and tell: Arrange nutrition and cooking demonstrations at a local senior center. Focus on recipes and messages that are simple, safe and affordable.

  14. Learn more about hunger issues: Help to bring grocery stores, farmer’s markets and other healthy food options into “food deserts.” Start by understanding some of the factors that contribute to the problem.

  15. Learn about assistance programs: There are a lot of federal nutrition assistance programs for seniors. To get a good overview – which you can then use to educate and help those in need – see Nutrition Assistance for Older Americans, published by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

  16. Learn where your state stands: Knowledge is power. Get facts on hunger and food insecurity in the states with Meals on Wheels’ Older Adult Hunger: State-by-State Profiles

  17. Help seniors learn about how they can access and benefit from the government’s Nutrition Services Incentive Program.

  18. Help seniors access emergency relief: Learn about government’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and help seniors access this important assistance program. TEFAP provides food at no cost to low-income Americans in need of short-term hunger relief by purchasing commodity food products and distributing them to states and Indian Tribal Governments.

  19. Farmer’s market coupons: Help low-income people learn about the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, one of the programs recommended by the AARP Foundation, which provides coupons to seniors to exchange at local farmer’s markets. The government program is designed to provide fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey low-income seniors.

  20. Take an older neighboor grocery shopping:  Offer to make a healthy grocery list for an older person you know. Then take him to the store (or, if he is homebound, head out yourself). People are more likely to eat well if they have healthy food in the home.