Hidden in Plain Sight - Hunger and Oregonians 50+

Contact: Katie Furia

SNAP Outreach Manager

Email, (503) 595-5501 ext. 308

December 2012 Forum Summary

Hunger among older Oregonians is an issue of growing urgencyOn December 11, 2012, we collaborated with AARP and 8 other community service groups* to co-host a solutions forum. A total of 84 people participated in the forum!

About the Day

AARP presented a polling exercise on hunger and older Oregonians, which helped set the stage for participant discussion of solutions. Three panel presentations focused on solutions to impact older adult hunger through increased use of SNAP and other 211info resources, current legislative policy opportunities, and the development of a new healthcare model. Participants attended workshops for deeper discussion, and shared feedback about solutions and opportunities to continue with future collaborative efforts.

Key ideas and recommendations

  • Educate the public about older adult hunger, nutrition and SNAP
  • Work with Oregon’s new health care system
  • Convene people around solutions
  • Develop and implement a strategy for outreach and resourcing in rural communities
  • Engage in grassroots public education to reach seniors in isolation
  • Promote 211info services
  • Oppose SNAP cuts (support Farm Bill)
  • Reauthorize Older Americans Act (fund Meals On Wheels)
  • Support Farm Direct Nutrition Program
  • Collect data at local levels, gather personal stories; connect to legislators

Feedback & Next Steps

A total of 75 participants completed engagement cards expressing interest in upcoming activities, sharing best practices, networking, business community solutions, and elected officials as speakers.

Based on forum participant feedback, AARP and PHFO have agreed to facilitate the following action steps and engagement activities:

  • Plan quarterly Older Oregonian Hunger Coalition meetings; promote workgroups for identified issues
  • Facilitate 2013 forums in Eugene, South Coast, and Southern Oregon areas
  • Encourage focus leading up to 2014 Hunger Summit

Additional Resources

  • 2012 report from AARP shows Oregon as one of the top 5 states with high numbers of hunger in people aged 50-59
  • Our SNAP participation report shows only 1 in 3 eligible Oregonians 60+ receiving the SNAP benefits they are entitled to
  • Meals On Wheels study comparing state data between 2001-2007 found an estimated 5 percent of Oregon seniors at risk of hunger

Thank You to our Partners!

Organization and planning for this event was a collaborative effort with AARP and an "Older Oregonian Hunger Coalition" including:

  • Meals On Wheels
  • Elders In Action
  • Impact NW
  • Oregon Food Bank
  • Clackamas County Social Services
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Multnomah County
  • City of Lake Oswego

For more information on engaging with the Older Oregonian Hunger Coalition, contact Katie Furia.