Challenges facing older Montanans Highlighted by Efforts
Hunger and Fraud Tackled with Local Events throughout the State
This year, AARP Montana will spotlight two problems facing older Montanans – hunger and fraud. In Billings, Butte, Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell and Miles City AARP Montana will hold joint food drives and free onsite secure document shredding.
“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 ten 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.
Date: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Billings: Billings Food Bank, 2112 4th Ave North
Contact: Sheryle Shandy / Denise Armstrong—406-259-2856
Bozeman: Gallatin Valley Mall, 2825 W. Main
Contact: Margaret Mason—406-587-5444 Also collecting donated blankets for the Warming Center
Butte: Belmont Sr. Center, 615 Mercury Street
Contact: Nancy Gibson—406-723-7773
Great Falls: Kmart Parking Lot, 1000 3rd St. NW
Contact: Marilyn Hamer—406-452-2396 or Charlene Suckow—406-452-0536
Helena: Kmart Parking Lot, 1700 Cedar St.
Contact: Karlee Smith—406-457-4702 or Fran Viereck – 406-443-1924
Kalispell: The Gateway Community Center, 1203 Hwy 2 West
Contact: Sue Holst – 406-261-9413
Miles City: Eastern MT Fairgrounds 42 Garryowen Road
Contact: Betty Vail – 406-234-0505. Note: Also a “Harvest for Seniors” Food Drive, Seniors Corps will be collecting extra garden produce to be donated to seniors in need
Missoula: Rosauers, 2350 S. Reserve Street
Contact: Renee Labrie-Shanks—406-728-7682. Note: Also collection of unused prescription drugs by the Missoula Police Department via a “Drug Take Back” receptacle
“As with any event of this magnitude, there are a lot of volunteers and community partners that play a role in making the event happen.” concluded Bruck. “We couldn’t do this without them so we would like to thank all involved including the Billings Food Bank, Big Sky Senior Services, Montana Mobile Shredding, Belmont Senior Center, the Area Agencies on Aging, Helena Food Share, Kmart, RSVP, Keep Miles City Beautiful, Missoula Aging Services, Missoula Senior Center, Rosauers, Missoula Food Bank and the Missoula Police Department.”
For a printable flyer of the AARP Montana Day of Service events click here>> Flyer - AARP MT Day of Service 2014 .