PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National and local experts came together on October 4, 2013 to attend a roundtable discussion to address the growing issue of hunger among older adults in Philadelphia. Hosted by AARP Pennsylvania and the AARP Foundation, experts representing organizations such as Philabundance, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Share Food Program and others joined local officials to discuss various ways to break down barriers to connect older adults to food assistance across the city.
In Philadelphia over 330,000 people are at risk for hunger, and nationally nearly 9 million older adults face food insecurity. More older adults are experiencing hunger, and are more at risk since the recession began. "In communities across the city, trusted organizations have been doing a heroic job of helping those who struggle with hunger, but the number of people in crisis is growing every day," says Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. "Through the work being done by hunger advocates across the city and AARP Foundation's "Drive to End Hunger initiative, we are working to raise awareness about the growing problem and develop long-term solutions," says Johnston-Walsh.
Friday's roundtable aimed at raising hunger awareness among older adults was the first thought leadership round table of its kind hosted by AARP Pennsylvania, and was one of several gatherings held by the association last week including a meeting held with faith leaders throughout Philadelphia.
As part of AARP's efforts on hunger awareness, a reception held that evening honored community organizations who have demonstrated outstanding efforts on the fight to end hunger in the Delaware Valley. "These local organizations are known for their long standing history in using local resources, creativity and passion to make our community a better place," says Johnston-Walsh.
Organizations honored included WPVI-6 ABC, Food Share Program, and Philabundance.
In Philadelphia, over 470,000 people participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides low-income residents with monthly food assistance to buy food at grocery stores, farmers' markets and small businesses. These glaring statistics among others served as a platform for AARP Pennsylvania in partnership with the AARP Foundation to award several Philadelphia based community organizations micro grants to aid in the costs of serving the vulnerable 50+ in the fight against hunger. Saint John's Hospice, St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission were selected to receive the micro grants in the amount of $500, used to assist their hunger relief efforts and healthy eating programs in the community among the 50+ population in Philadelphia.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www. aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP VIVA, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
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SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania