Drive to End Hunger: Help for NC Seniors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Burning along with the rubber at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a desire to help North Carolina's seniors in need. Race car driver Jeff Gordon is teaming up with AARP to raise money and awareness of hunger among the state's older citizens. The nationwide campaign continues in Charlotte at this weekend's race, where monetary donations will be accepted.
Alan Briggs, executive director of the North Carolina Association of Feeding America's Food Banks, says hunger is a problem that can't be underestimated in this state, where one out of six seniors experiences a lack of food each month.
"We do have systems to make food available to children. But seniors face limits on transportation, and they're often experiencing health problems, which add to their financial burdens."
The donations collected this weekend will benefit food banks across the state to help fill the pantries of seniors. For every dollar collected, Briggs says food banks can provide $10 worth of food.
Some seniors struggle even when cared for by family members, Briggs explains, because they can't find the courage to ask for help.
"We find that pride is a real hurdle. It's an embarrassing situation. People don't want their family and neighbors to know they're experiencing food shortage."
Food banks across the state are seeing increases in the number of seniors needing food assistance. Much of that uptick is attributed to rising costs of living and health care expenses. Statewide, more than 20 percent of people in North Carolina report not having enough food to meet their daily needs.
More information is available at http://drivetoendhunger.org/.