During the month of February, AARP and AARP Foundation are working together to put a spotlight on hunger. Join us and learn 29 simple actions you can take to combat hunger in your community.
Here are seven more ideas of how you can help.
- Teach a cooking class. Put your cooking and nutrition expertise to good use and volunteer to teach a course in Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters program. The program guides participants through the process of making nutritious and cost-effective meals for their families. Click here to sign up.
- Use less energy. When energy costs skyrocket, the price of food goes up, too, making it harder to feed a family on a tight budget. Conserve energy by insulating your home, buying energy-efficient light bulbs and walking instead of driving. Buy locally grown foods and locally manufactured goods, which typically use less energy because they incur fewer transportation and staging costs.
- Write a letter to the editor. Persuade your local editorial writers to cover senior hunger as a health issue. By 2030, there will be more than 72 million older people in the United States — more than twice the number in 2000. Rates of food insecurity among those 50 and older have more than doubled since 2001, and rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases contribute to skyrocketing health care costs. In 2010, older adults spent 13.2 percent of their total expenditures on health — more than twice the proportion spent by consumers overall. Learn more.
- Start (or support) a Campus Kitchen in your community. Campus Kitchens partners with high schools, colleges, and universities to share on-campus kitchen space, recover food from cafeterias and engage students as volunteers who prepare and deliver meals to the community. Get started here.
- Answer AARP’s Hunger Quiz. Test your knowledge by taking our Hunger Quiz.
- Help seniors find support. Learn about government food assistance programs and local services available in your community and help a loved one or family member sign up for the extra help he or she needs.
- Dine out. During February, show your AARP membership card at participating Denny’s and a 25 cent donation will be made to AARP Foundation (up to $250,000); Chase will double its donation to the Foundation to 20 cents for any restaurant transaction using the AARP® Credit Card from Chase (up to an additional $100,000).
- onate to your local food bank. February is National Canned Food Month – a time of year when many food banks are low on donations. Learn which foods are the best to donate.
- Waste less food. Americans waste more than 60 billion pounds of food each year, with the bulk of that food ending up in landfills instead of feeding people. When you cook, make smaller portions. Shop with conservation instead of abundance in mind.
- Start (or participate in) a community garden. Community gardens in urban areas and food deserts allow participants to cultivate healthy and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables on unused land and space, while providing necessary food for people in need. Get tips.
- Share a meal. Invite someone who is 50-plus to share a meal at your home or theirs, or take them out to eat at their favorite restaurant. Something as simple as enjoying a meal in the company of friends and family can help combat senior loneliness and isolation.
- Volunteer. Help bring relief to the seniors in your community who are struggling to meet their basic needs. Volunteer.
- Educate yourself. More than 10 million adults age 50 and older struggle with hunger. Follow on Twitter organizations like AARP Foundation (@AARPCares), Feeding America (@FeedingAmerica) and others to learn what’s happening and how you can help.