AARP Ohio Donates 150,000 Pounds of Fresh Food to Largest Hunger Charity in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 21, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On the first day of winter, AARP Ohio is generating awareness about the serious issue of older adult hunger with a donation to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. The $32,893 donation specifically goes to the purchase of 153,888 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, which will be distributed statewide to 12 foodbanks, 3,500 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other hunger relief agencies and programs in the Ohio Association of Foodbanks network. More than 10 million older adults are at risk of hunger every day, with Ohio ranking in the top ten states of hunger risk for people age 50 and older.
"Older adults are struggling with hunger. It is a very real challenge as they cope with the rising costs of medications, heating their homes and the realities of limited income and resources," said AARP State Director Barbara A. Sykes. "This donation not only lessens the daily burden of hunger so many vulnerable older adults face, but also helps raise awareness about the epidemic of food insecurity among older Ohioans, who now make up nearly 1 in 5 of all people served by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks."
AARP views hunger as a health issue. Research shows that food insecurity contributes to chronic medical conditions. 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. The relationship between hunger and health can easily become a vicious cycle, as seniors have to spend more on their health care, have even fewer financial resources to spend on food, and may become socially isolated.
"Food insecurity among older adults is on the rise in Ohio. This is a real crisis that has been exacerbated by the opioid epidemic in Ohio, which has forced many grandparents and great-grandparents to take responsibility for their grandchildren as their adult children struggle with addiction recovery, serve prison sentences, or worse," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Executive Director of Ohio Association of Foodbanks.
Food insecurity is defined as not having adequate food on a daily basis or not being able to maintain a nutritious and healthy diet and diseases related to poor diet are estimated to cost the U.S. economy a staggering $1 trillion annually.
"We are incredibly grateful that AARP Ohio is so committed to serving Ohio seniors," said Hamler-Fugitt. "Their donation in support of our emergency food programs tells older adults in Ohio, 'You're not alone. We're with you.' We look forward to continuing to collaborate with AARP Ohio to respond to this issue and help keep food on the table for older Ohioans that can't do so on their own."
Information and resources are available at:
- AARP Drive to End Hunger (www.dteh.org)
- Twitter (twitter.com/aarpcares) #EndSeniorHunger
- Find your regional foodbank and connect with volunteer opportunities (http://ohiofoodbanks.org/foodbanks/)
- Click Donate to support our efforts to feed hungry Ohio seniors – who now represent nearly 1 in 5 of all of the people we serve ( http://ohiofoodbanks.org/)
- Sign up to stay connected to legislation and policies that would impact hungry Ohio seniors ( http://ohiofoodbanks.org/)
- Help with hunger or food insecurity (http://ohiofoodbanks.org/foodbanks/findhelp.php or call 1-800-648-1176)
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
About the Ohio Association of Foodbanks
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is Ohio's largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio's 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,500 member charities including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. In SFY 2018, the association and its member foodbanks were able to acquire and distribute over 216 million pounds of food and grocery items. The association has also served as the home of The Ohio Benefit Bank since 2006. Follow the association on Twitter, stay connected on Facebook and visit them on the web at www.ohiofoodbanks.org.
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SOURCE AARP Ohio