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Ohioans can “Create the Good” for Hungry Seniors

November 10, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - More people are facing hunger in these tough times, but some experts say older Ohioans are especially hard hit. To help end hunger among the 50+ set, the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks and AARP Ohio have launched a joint food and fund drive in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Charles Clift, a volunteer with AARP Ohio's Executive Council, says in order to get by, thousands of older adults in the Buckeye State are being forced to make difficult decisions.

"Often they have to choose between food and heating, or food and paying rent; and a growing number are facing higher prescription costs, which also becomes a choice. So, it's a critical issue among the seniors in Ohio."

According to a recent report from the national group Feeding America, more than 26 percent of Ohio households served by food pantries include a person over age 50. (It is online at http://feedingamerica.org.)

While any donation is appreciated, Clift notes there is high demand for certain types of foods to help older adults meet specific nutritional needs.

"High protein foods, peanut butter, canned tuna. Foods that happen to be low in salt, low sugar or sugar-free foods are excellent; and nutrient-rich items, supplement shakes and things like that."

Clift says all donations are used locally – so yours can make a difference in your own neighborhood.

"These are food banks in your community, the communities of those who give, and a little money just goes a long way. For every dollar that's donated, five meals go to hungry Ohioans."

The food drive runs through November 21. Donations can be made online at www.oashf.org, or call 1-877-223-7161 to find food bank locations.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH