BenefitsCheckUp® Promotes Programs to Fight Senior Hunger During National Nutrition Month
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BenefitsCheckUp® Promotes Programs to Fight Senior Hunger During National Nutrition Month

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March 11, 2011

CONTACT:
Ken Schwartz
202-600-3131
ken.schwartz@ncoa.org

Washington, D.C. – March is National Nutrition Month, and BenefitsCheckUp® encourages all Americans to take this time to make informed food choices, develop sound eating habits, and recognize that hunger remains a serious issue for many older adults.

According to research sponsored by the Meals on Wheels Association of America, approximately six million seniors have faced the threat of hunger and 11.4% of all seniors have experienced a form of food insecurity.

With the help of BenefitsCheckUp®, a free and confidential online service that enables seniors and their family members or caregivers to determine what benefits they qualify for and how to apply for them, older Americans can find out if they qualify for nutrition assistance programs to help put food on the table. 

BenefitsCheckUp® highlights several programs that help people with limited incomes buy the food they need for good health:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps) helps low-income individuals and families by providing them with a special debit card for food that can be used at most grocery stores, certain senior centers, and nonprofit meal delivery services, such as Meals on Wheels.
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) helps improve the health of eligible individuals by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods. Participants receive a monthly food package.
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. This program is offered at local food pantries and soup kitchens.
  • Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for select foods at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs.
  • Home-Delivered Meals and Congregate Meals provide meals and other nutrition services to older individuals in a variety of settings including congregate facilities such as senior centers or by home delivery for the homebound.

"It is our belief that no older American should go hungry," said Stuart Spector, the National Council on Aging's senior vice president. "It is fortunate that there are a variety of programs that can assist many older Americans to get the food they need to maintain their health and quality of life."

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About NCOA  The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization representing older adults and the community organizations that serve them. Our goal is to improve the health, independence, and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. For more than 60 years, NCOA has been a trusted voice and innovative problem-solver helping seniors navigate the challenges of aging in America. We work with local and national partners to give older adults tools and information to stay healthy and secure, and we advocate for programs and policies to improve the lives of all seniors, especially the most vulnerable. For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org.

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