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Community Care Packages Provide Relief During COVID-19

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Lexington Community Care Package

Reverend James Thurman and Dr. Merrylyn Moran Smith know their community. In the face of coronavirus crisis, AARP volunteers and ACT Ministries in Lexington responded to local need with an emergency food distribution to vulnerable Lexingtonians. ACT Ministries and AARP volunteers teamed up to deliver “Community Care Packages” to older Lexington residents hit hard during the pandemic.

Reverend Thurman is a long time Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church. He had conversations in his neighborhood and received dozens of calls from older residents asking if help was available. He contacted AARP Kentucky Executive Council Member Dr. Merrylyn Moran Smith for help. They began developing an action plan and priority list of older residents most in need. Dr. Smith applied for and received an AARP local grant from the state office in Louisville.

Working with local Lexington volunteers and the $500 local AARP grant, ACT Ministries was able to deliver emergency food distribution helping older Lexingtonians at risk. As COVID-19 continues to impact daily life across the country and in Lexington, too many older Americans are on fixed incomes, isolated, at risk of hunger, have lost spouses, and many are struggling to raise grandchildren.

AARP has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than sixty years. The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 40% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050.

Know someone who could use a friendly chat?
Across the country, there are countless people who are feeling socially isolated and might benefit from a friendly call from one of AARP's volunteers. Please let local nonprofits, neighbors and family know about the opportunity to request a Friendly Call in English or Spanish. Requests can be made through an online form in English or Spanish or by calling toll-free 888-281-0145 (English) or 888-497-4108 (Spanish).

Staying connected is important—now more than ever. You don't have to face this difficult time alone. If you're feeling alone or know someone who is, you can use the AARP Friendly Voice program to ask for a phone call from an AARP volunteer Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

To request a call for yourself or a loved one:

  • Call AARP directly: 1-888-281-0145
  • If you are in crisis, please see the AARP Helpline page for resources.
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