MEDIA ADVISORY

85% of Likely Eligible Long Island Seniors Facing Hunger Not Receiving Aid; AARP Set to Release Plan to Close the Gap
 

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

WHAT:

With an estimated 85 percent of eligible seniors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties not receiving a valuable food assistance benefit, AARP New York will gather with local anti-hunger leaders for a news conference on Friday, November 1 in Melville 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 area residents go hungry.  Long Island’s non-participation rate is among the highest in the state.

The news conference will precede a roundtable AARP is convening to discuss older adult hunger on Long Island and review the report’s recommendations.

WHEN:

Friday, November 1, 2013

11:30 am Press Conference

12:00 – 2:00 pm Long Island Older Adult Hunger Roundtable

WHERE:

The Health & Welfare Council of Long Island

150 Broadhollow Road, Suite 118

Melville, NY 

WHO:

Will Stoner,  Associate State Director, AARP New York

Christine Deska, Program Specialist, AARP New York                                       

Gwen O’Shea, President/CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island

Ellen Vollinger, Legal/Food Stamp Director, Food Research and Action Center

Representatives from anti-hunger organizations on Long Island 

Why:     On Long Island approximately 285,000 residents 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 Nassau and Suffolk counties remain 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, as every $5 used in SNAP benefits adds $9 to the economy.

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