Did you know that in Iowa, more than two-thirds of older Iowans age 65+ who are eligible to enroll in the Iowa Food Assistance Program haven’t applied, and many of them are facing the daily tough choices between buying groceries and paying for their medications?
With grant funding from the AARP Foundation Drive to End Hunger, AARP is teaming up with the Iowa Food Bank Association, the Iowa Department on Aging, local Iowa Area Agencies on Aging, local congregate meal sites and the Iowa Department of Public Health with an innovative program to reach out and promote healthy eating and nutrition assistance to Iowa seniors.
The program aims to break down the barrier to seniors who are reluctant to take part for a variety of reasons by providing trained, senior volunteers (peers) to go to congregate meal sites and communities to educate potential participants and directly assist in the application process.
Volunteers host an interactive “Chef Charles” nutrition education session, and talk about the importance of nutrition and how the Iowa Food Assistance program can help seniors afford fresh, healthy foods.
The program targets older Iowans in 19 counties with some of the state’s highest rates of food insecurity for older adults.
For more information about the Iowa Drive to End Hunger outreach campaign, or to talk with a peer volunteer about how the program works, or to become a volunteer, contact Cindy Jones, Iowa Food Bank Association SNAP Outreach Coordinator at 319-529-0533, or cjones1@feedingAmerica.org
Learn more about AARP Foundation efforts to address the issues of hunger, housing, income and isolation among older Americans.
Photo courtesy of Sodanie Chea/Flickr