AARP Eye Center
For hundreds of thousands of Texans in Tarrant County, eating dinner tonight is not a foregone conclusion.
Seniors are one of the groups most susceptible to hunger risk. Many seniors rely heavily or solely on their social security income to keep them afloat. Trying to scrape by on a limited income while facing rising living costs, utility bills and medical expenses can make stretching a budget an impossible task.
The problem of hunger among seniors is only made worse because many older adults are too embarrassed to ask for help. Our seniors have spent their lives giving help and providing for their families -- they don’t want to admit they have a problem and need help themselves.
Things are especially bad for seniors in the Lone Star state. Texas has the third highest hunger rate among seniors in the nation. More than 10% of Texans are often forced to make the impossible choice between eating and paying for medicine, utilities or other basic needs.
The results can be devastating. Research shows that seniors facing food insecurity are more likely to be in fair or poor health, diabetic and suffer from depression. Food insecurity among seniors also increases the risk of disability, decreases the ability to fight infection, and contributes to lengthier hospital stays. Not to mention, many medications need to be taken with food to be effective. That’s a lose/lose situation for seniors forced to choose between their medication and their next meal.
Texans deserve better. No Texan, at any age, should have to go hungry. No Texan, at any age, should have to choose between keeping the lights on, taking their medicine or eating their next meal.
The good news? You can help.
On Saturday, May 11, AARP and AARP Foundation are joining the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the U.S. Postal Service’s 21st annual food drive to help “Stamp Out Hunger.” Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single-day food drive, provides assistance to millions of Americans, including nearly the 9 million older adults age 50-plus, who often suffer in silence.
Letter carriers across the country will pick up bags of non-perishable food products left by the households on their routes—and deliver them to local area food banks and pantries. To encourage donations, AARP Foundation is donating 15 million food collection bags. That’s almost 4,000,000 bags in Texas alone!
Want to get involved? It’s easy.
If you’ve already received a Stamp Out Hunger bag, simply put non-perishable food items in the bag and leave it next to your mailbox before your mail is delivered. Even if you don’t have a Stamp Out Hunger bag, you can still participate. Just leave the non-perishable food next to your mailbox. Fort Worth’s letter carriers will collect your donations and deliver them to food banks in Tarrant County.
So this May 11th take time to think of your most vulnerable neighbors who struggle to find their next meal. It’s time to reach out a helping hand to the hungry.
To find out how you can help Stamp Out Hunger, go to www.facebook.com/stampouthunger or on Twitter @stampouthunger.