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No Mas Hambre Summit

The second annual NO MAS HAMBRE Summit took place on December 7, 2012 in Washington D.C. Presented by LATINO Magazine, the Summit addressed the issue of hunger in the Latino community. According to some, it was a good thing the event took place before the end of the Mayan calendar.

“The Mayan calendar isn’t predicting the end of the world, but instead the fiscal cliff and the end of tax credits,” said one participant. “The budgetary discussions going on right now are really going to make a huge impact.”

That issue was just one of many that came up during the conversation with the audience of Latino community leaders, hunger relief experts, government officials, corporate executives and concerned citizens that attended the Summit.

To kick things off, Maxine B. Baker, Senior Vice President of Impact Areas at the AARP Foundation, welcomed attendees. Baker pointed out that there are over 9 million people in the U.S. over 50 years old that struggle with hunger.

“No American should be going to bed hungry,” Baker said. “There is enough to feed everyone.” The Drive to End Hunger Campaign with NASCAR, which raises awareness of adult hunger, is just one of the ways AARP is tackling the issue.

The first panel explored the challenges to reducing food insecurity and was moderated by Maggie Biscarr, Program Manager with the AARP Foundation’s Hunger Impact Area. The panelists included Ellen Teller, Director of Government Affairs at FRAC; Yanira Cruz, President and CEO of the Hispanic Council on Aging; and Shannon Huneke, Director of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships for UnitedHealthcare.

“As we travel the country, taking the pulse of Hispanic older adults, one of the things we heard over and over again this past year was about the challenges with nutrition,” Cruz said. Among older Hispanics, the lack of proper nutrition can have more dire consequences, since many are dealing with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

Duke Storen, Chief of Staff for the Special Nutrition Programs at USDA, moderated the second panel, called, “On the Table: Childhood Nutrition and Food Insecurity.” The panelists included Rita Jaramillo, Chair of the National Latino Children’s Institute; Maritza Kelley, Senior Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs for First Focus Campaign for Children; and Lourdes Diaz, Vice President of Diversity Relations at Sodexo USA.

The role of faith-based organizations was discussed during the third panel, which was moderated by Roxana Barillas, Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rounding out the panel were Carlos Duran, Washington D.C. Chapter Director and a board member for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Lily Echeverria, Family Support Worker with the Spanish Catholic Center of Catholic Charities; and J.K. Granberg from the Alliance to End Hunger.

Following the third panel and a short lunch break, Janet Murguia, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), delivered the keynote address. Murguia also warned of the dangers of the fiscal cliff and said, “Latinos want the president to keep his commitment to fostering a fair economy. That means we do not turn our backs on the sick and hungry.”

The concluding panel, “Finding Solutions: Case Studies in Fighting Hunger,” was moderated by Dalia Almanza-Smith from LATINO Magazine. It featured Bill Ruby, Vice President Field Marketing for Denny’s; Courtney Smith, Director of Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices; and Kate Houston, Director of Government Relations & Policy for Cargill. Exceprts from the panels can be seen at

The Summit ended with a film presented by Rocky Egusquiza, AARP, and Nely Calzada, Telemundo, that paid tribute to the Lideres de Esperanza, outstanding individuals selected by AARP and Telemundo in Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
In Chicago, Sister Joellen was recognized. She is the director of Casa Catalina, a food pantry serving more than 400 families per week, a joint project of Catholic Charities and Holy Cross Immaculate Heart of Mary. In Atlanta, Jaime Molina Juarez, M.N.M. was honored. A native of Chihauha, he is the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, a multi-cultural faith community and center of reconciliation located in Smyrna, GA. In Philadelphia, the Lider was volunteer Juanita Ramos, though the award was accepted on her behalf by Sister Leslie and sister Mary from St. Francis Inn Ministry.

“AARP is proud to be part of the NO MAS HAMBRE and Líderes de Esperanza program with LATINO Magazine and Telemundo,” stated Rocky Egusquiza, Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement at AARP. “For us, it is an honor to pay tribute to individuals who help those around them with such passion and dedication to end hunger across the country, as together we continue to raise awareness about food insecurity in the Latino community.”

Many thanks to AARP Foundation, Sodexo, Servicemaster, Kraft, the Aetna Foundation, UnitedHealthcare, Telemundo and others for their support.



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Fresh Thinking Can Reduce Older Adult Hunger

Every day a million and a half Hispanic/Latinos in the US age 50 and over face the threat of hunger. The US Department of Agriculture reports that while nearly 15 percent of US households are food insecure, the figure is almost double—26 percent—in Hispanic/Latino households.

At AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity, we are taking action on four fronts. We believe that by focusing on four interrelated priorities—hunger, income, housing and isolation—we can make the greatest impact on the lives of struggling older people.

The challenges facing older adults, including 1 in 6 Hispanic/Latinos 50+ who struggle with hunger, require compassion, creativity and innovation.

To broaden the search for solutions, AARP Foundation worked with Innocentive, a company specializing in open innovation, crowdsourcing, and prize competitions. Together we sought innovative ideas to prevent, reduce, or eliminate food insecurity and food deserts—areas “where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store”—among older adults.

The winning submissions each presented novel, promising approaches to help low-income, older adults get access to nutritious food.

One proposes to eliminate food deserts by operating a permanent neighborhood market to expand an existing fresh food distribution program to low-income senior housing facilities.

Another developed a local currency system to facilitate the exchange and production of goods and services, including the sponsorship of two weekly fresh produce markets and an urban micro farm. Older adults obtain currency through offering services or goods, then use this currency to purchase affordable, locally grown produce and food goods for themselves, family and friends, and others in need.

A third successful entry was developed by a youth group. This project proposes a local farm in which at least 10 older adults receive free, biweekly shares of healthy, locally-grown produce and connect with each other and local teens. Other community members can purchase shares of produce to help offset the cost of discounted shares.

Hunger is a solvable problem if we all work together. Across our nation, dedicated, trusted community organizations are helping hungry older adults. The Foundation’s two-year hunger innovation grants, awarded to organizations across the country that serve older and often diverse communities, highlight the importance of working together.

For example, in San Antonio, a grant to Centro de Salud Familiar la Fe, Inc. uses a senior peer to peer Animador empowerment model to reduce food insecurity and hunger among Mexican-Americans 50 and over.

In Boston, a grant to Action for Boston Community Development supports the development and delivery of a nutrition education and financial literacy curriculum program to low-income Hispanic/Latino and African-American older adults.

We are also pursuing new strategies that help seniors overcome barriers to enrollment in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Working with state and community-based organizations, we are helping to eliminate barriers to access and improve participation in SNAP among older adults.

SNAP is one of the best options available to increase food purchasing power for low-income older adults, yet only about one of every three people age 60 and over who is eligible for SNAP receives it.

While some make a conscious choice not to participate, many others encounter challenges that prevent them from applying. Barriers to participation include: unfamiliarity with program rules and eligibility criteria, limited options for where, when, and how to submit applications and complete interviews, and the perceived stigma associated with receipt of public benefits.

In Georgia, trained AARP volunteers provide peer-to-peer SNAP outreach and application assistance. Our volunteers provide information about SNAP eligibility, dispel myths and share facts about the program, assist with application submissions, inform clients on what information the state agency needs to render an eligibility decision, and make referrals to other public and private programs as needed.

We have provided application assistance to more than 4,000 older adults in just 18 months, and we are expanding this work to several other states in 2013.

The latest example of our commitment to new approaches is the partnership AARP Foundation recently announced with L.A. Kitchen, a startup nonprofit established by the nonprofit leader, Robert Egger, who founded DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C.

L.A. Kitchen aims to make older adults fundamentally stronger by providing more than just food. L.A. Kitchen will use a holistic approach, which includes a focus on employment and volunteer engagement to address not only nutritional needs, but physical, social, and mental health needs as well.

Our work with L.A. Kitchen and other community based organizations is designed to help struggling older adults get back on track. Fresh thinking can be a key ingredient in reducing senior hunger.

Jo Ann Jenkins is president of the AARP Foundation.



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No Mas Hambre Atlanta

LATINO Magazine presented a NO MAS HAMBRE Forum in Atlanta to raise awareness of hunger among Latinos. The event was held at the Latin American Association (LAA), an organization that provides social services to 50,000 Latinos every year.

Participants were welcomed by LAA Executive director Jeffrey Tapia, who noted that the LAA provides legal counsel on immigration issues such as removal proceedings as well as domestic violence. “New immigrants, even ones that have been here for 15 years, are still seeking sources and true access,” she said. “People feel comfortable in a place that speaks their language and understands their culture.”

Panelists and speakers at the event included Charles Mendoza, AARP Georgia Executive Council; Jon West, Atlanta Community Food Bank; Michael Calopietro, AARP Foundation; and Ed Martinez, UPS Foundation.

AARP and Telemundo recognized a Líder de Esperanza, an award created to celebrate individuals over 50 who are giving back to the Hispanic community in the area of hunger relief. The recipient of this honor was Jaime Molina Juarez, M.N.M., the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, a multi-cultural faith community and center of reconciliation in Smyrna, Georgia

“Telemundo Atlanta (WKTB) is honored to be a part of an initiative that recognizes community advocates who feed the hungry and continue to educate the community about hunger issues,“ said Susan Sim Oh, managing partner of Telemundo Atlanta (WKTB).



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No Mas Hambre Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, a NO MAS HAMBRE Forum was presented at at the Trujillo Center, a part of the Congreso de Latinos Unidos campus. Founded in 1977, Congreso is Philadelphia’s largest nonprofit agency providing expert services to the Latino community, and employs more than 200 full-time employees.

Among the speakers was Dr. Mariana Chilton, a nationally recognized leader addressing child hunger in America and an Associate Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health. She is the Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, and founded Witnesses to Hunger to increase women’s participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty.

Panelists included Julie Cousler Emig, Concilio; Michael Calopietro, AARP Foundation; and Mukethe Abisa Kawinzi, The Food Trust. Julie Cousler Emig described her work as Deputy Director of Concilio, a nonprofit that serves about 10,000 people each month through a variety of programs and services and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“Everything is fueled by nutrition,” she said. “It’s really critical. And it’s not just about more food, it’s about the right food.”

Volunteer Juanita Ramos was recognized as a Lider de Esperanza by AARP and Telemundo, though the award was accepted on her behalf by Sister Leslie and Sister Mary from St. Francis Inn Ministry..