AARP in the Triangle working to create healthy food options for the hungry

Posted on 04/12/21 by Lilian Lee

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DURHAM -- AARP in the Triangle Region and the Durham Center for Senior Life (DCSL) are partnering to support hungry residents of Durham ages 55 and older. The program called EATS: Shop & Grab presented by AARP, is an opportunity for older adults who may be experiencing food insecurity to get the groceries they need.

Many seniors are food insecure which may lead to an unhealthy life, the inability to conduct daily activities and other negative consequences.  This problem is prevalent among minority and low-income older adults.  According to Feeding America, in North Carolina there are 1,456,200 people (14 percent of the state's population) who are struggling with hunger. 

“More than 10 million older adults are at risk of hunger every day,” says Emily Allen, senior vice president of Programs for AARP Foundation. “Older adults who are food insecure are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes and 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure. Research shows that food insecurity costs older adults in the U.S. an estimated $130 billion annually in additional health care expenses. So, senior hunger is not just an individual issue — it is an issue that has implications for families, communities and society.”

A growing problem when it comes to hunger is for grandparents raising grandchildren. In many instances, tight food budgets can be stretched too thin when people were not not planning on having extra mouths to feed.

AARP advocates for communities to offer healthy affordable food options to residents of all ages. Healthy eating for all seniors is an attainable goal through partnerships like this one with DCSL.

Eats: Shop & Grab is for Durham residents. Participants are asked to bring three (3) reusable grocery bags to secure their non-perishable items. You can also call (919) 688-8247 ext. 103, for more information.

DCSL also operates a food pantry for residents ages 55 and older and hosts Tuesday and Friday lunches for the homeless. The pantry is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

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