Challenges facing older Montanans Highlighted by Efforts 

Hunger and Fraud Tackled with Local Events throughout the State

 AARP Day of ServiceAARP Montana announced today that it will host community “Shred and Feed” events across Montana as part of its 2013 “Day of Service” that will be held on September 11.  Each year AARP designates one day as its Day of Service — a day for volunteers and staff from across the nation to serve their communities in a variety of ways. For 12 years now, thousands of AARP staff, members and volunteers have responded to the tragic events of September 11 by volunteering in their communities all across America.

This year, AARP Montana will spotlight two problems facing older Montanans – hunger and fraud.  In Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula AARP Montana will hold “Shred and Feed” events – joint food drives and free onsite secure document shredding.  Events are also being held in Glendive and Miles City at different dates and times.

“All community members are welcome to bring personal documents to be securely shredded,” said AARP State President Joy Bruck.  “At the same time, non-perishable food items will be collected for the food bank in their community.  We decided to focus on both hunger and fraud because we know these issues are top of mind for the 50+ population in the state.”

Nearly 9 million Americans age 50 and over are at risk for hunger every day. In Montana, more than 6 percent of seniors are at risk of hunger and nearly 17 percent of Montana residents of all ages reported they did not have enough money to buy food last year.

Fraud is also a concern to Montanans age 50 and over.  According to a recent survey conducted by AARP Montana, nearly three-quarters of Montanans age 50+ are worried about protecting themselves from identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans become identity theft victims each year. Research shows that most identity thieves obtain information through traditional paper-based sources rather than electronic channels.

And while laws help to keep criminals in check, prevention is still the best course of action. Shredding is one of the most efficient ways to thwart identity theft by preventing information from falling into the wrong hands.

Documents that consumers should shred include: 

—  Bank statements that are at least one year old and do not contain tax-related information

—  Pay stubs (only after you receive your Form W-2)

—  Credit card applications

—  Any other documents that contain your:

  • Social Security Number
  • Account Numbers
  • Password/PIN Information
  • Birth date, private contact information and signature.

 

“Don’t give identity thieves a chance to steal your information – shred your personal documents before throwing them away,” said AARP Montana State President Joy Bruck noting that last year’s day of service shred event in Helena resulted in the secure destruction of approximately four tons of confidential material. “Our free events are a quick and effective way for consumers to protect themselves against this devastating crime. I hope folks will take advantage of this free service while helping to provide much-needed food for our community food banks.”

The events are free, open to the public and refreshments will be served while they last.
Consumers may bring up to two file-sized boxes of documents; emptied boxes will be immediately returned. The event is limited to individuals – no businesses please.

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Locations:

Billings:              Billings Food Bank, 2112 4th Ave North

                              Contact: Sheryle Shandy—406-259-2856

Bozeman:           Gallatin Valley Mall, 2825 W. Main

                              Contact: Margaret Mason—406-587-5444

Butte:                   Belmont Sr. Center, 615 Mercury St.

                              Contact: Nancy Gibson—406-723-7773 or Cynde Cheek-Asheman—406-494-0083

 Great Falls:       Kmart, 1000 3rd St. NW

                              Contact: Marilyn Hamer—406-452-2396 or

                              Charlene Suckow—406-452-0536

Helena:              Kmart, 1700 Cedar St.

                              Contact: Karlee Smith—406-457-4702

Missoula:           Playfair Park, Bancroft & Pattee Cr. Rd.

                              Contact: Renee Labrie-Shanks—406-728-7682

Other Partner Service Events on different dates and/or times:

Miles City:    Harvest for Seniors Food Drive (Food Drive Only): Contact: Betty Vail, 406-234-0505, rsvp05@midrivers.com.  Volunteers will be collecting excess garden harvest on:

  • Saturday, September 7th at the Farmer’s Market in Riverside Park
  • Tuesday, September 10th at the Farmer’s Market at Discovery Pond
  • Wednesday, September 11th from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Historic Miles City Academy (Ursuline Convent.)

 

Glendive:      Sept. 17, 11am-1:00pm—Shred & Feed, LIEAP outreach, 2030 N Merrill Ave.  Call 406-345-2122 for details

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