Helena, Mont., Sept. 1, 2015 — AARP Montana announced today that it will host community shredding events and food drives across Montana as part of its 2015 National Day of Service. Every year, Patriot Day and National Day of Service & Remembrance is observed to remember those who were lost and honor the heroes who responded to the tragic events on September 11, 2001. Since that time, thousands of AARP staff, members and volunteers have joined in the National Day of Service 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, Helena, Missoula, Kalispell and Anaconda AARP Montana will hold community 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 area. 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 more than 26,000 pounds 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 Dates, Times and Locations:
Anaconda: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 -- 10 am to 1 pm
At the Metcalf Memorial Sr. Center: 115 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Anaconda
Nonperishable food donations to benefit the Project Care Food Bank
Billings: Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 -- 10 am to 1 pm
At MT Mobile Document Shredding: 2123 2nd Ave N, Billings
Nonperishable food donations to benefit Family Service Inc. of Billings
Bozeman: Friday, September 11, 2015 -- 10 am to 1 pm
At the Gallatin Valley Mall, 2825 W Main St., Bozeman
Nonperishable food donations to benefit Gallatin Valley Food Bank
Helena: Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 -- 10 am to 1 pm
At the Helena K-Mart Parking Lot: 1700 Cedar Street
Nonperishable food donations to benefit Helena Food Share
Missoula: Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 -- 10 am to 1 pm
At Rosauers Parking Lot: 2350 S. Reserve St, Missoula
Note: Also collection of unused prescription drugs by the Missoula Police Department via a “Drug Take Back” receptacle
Nonperishable food donations to benefit the Missoula Food Bank
Kalispell: Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 -- 10 am to 2 pm
At Gateway Community Center: 1203 Hwy 2 W, Kalispell
Nonperishable food donations to benefit NW MT Veterans Food Pantry and Flathead Food Bank
“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 in this effort.”