MEDIA ADVISORY

 70% of Likely Eligible Capital Region Seniors Facing Hunger Not Receiving Aid; AARP Set to Release Plan to Close the Gap

 Assoc. & Lead NY Hunger Groups To Release New Recommendations on Barriers Facing Food Insecure 50+ in NY and What to Do About it

 WHAT:   With an estimated 70 percent of eligible seniors in the Capital Region not receiving a valuable food assistance benefit, AARP New York will gather with local anti-hunger leaders for a news conference on Wednesday, September 25, to release new recommendations from its latest white paper on how to break down the biggest barriers to ending hunger among 50+ New Yorkers.  AARP will also discuss the loss to the local economy of having Capitol Region residents go hungry.

WHEN:  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

10:00 am

 WHERE:

Schenectady Inner City Ministry Emergency Food Pantry

839 Albany Street

Schenectady, NY, 12308 

WHO:

Erin Mitchell, Associate State Director, AARP New York

Rev. Philip Grigsby, Executive Director, Schenectady Inner City Ministry

Linda Bopp, Executive Director, Hunger Solutions New York

Cathy Roberts, Senior Paralegal, Empire Justice Center                                       

Why:     In the Capital Region, 14 percent of households without children struggle with hunger, while statewide, one in every four New Yorkers age 60 and older who is living at home is considered nutritionally at risk.  Participation rates for SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) among seniors in the Capital Region remains alarmingly low, even as the 50+ population struggles to recover from the recession and faces a weak job market.  The impact of low SNAP participation rates in the area also affects the health of the local economy, keeping a roughly estimated $ 50 – 90 million from flowing into the Capital region annually.

Often on fixed incomes, many low-income older adults have to make the difficult choice between paying for medications and housing costs or putting food on the table.  The SNAP benefit is one of the most effective means of easing hunger among 50+, yet many New Yorkers face barriers in accessing the benefit.  AARP New York and the AARP Foundation convened a statewide summit in 2012 to identify the barriers and identify solutions, which are detailed in the white paper.                                 

 Contacts:  Chaunda Ball, (917) 859-0029, cball@aarp.org; Erik Kriss, (518) 360-9213, ekriss@aarp.org

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