Helping to End Poverty, One Person at a Time

“What does the world need me to do?” When Mark Bergel, 51, asked himself that question, his answer was to start A Wider Circle, a nonprofit in Silver Spring, Md., that provides everything from furniture to job training and clothing to support those in need. Now, 13 years later, Bergel, who serves as the organization’s executive director, is on a mission: End poverty in America. As I sort and fold donated baby clothes in the organization’s huge warehouse, Bergel, a 2014 CNN …

Why Delivering Meals On Wheels Gives So Much More

“I love to eat,” says Tom Irvin, 85, as we loaded up his Toyota with the day’s Meals On Wheels deliveries. “I know how important food is.” So when a neighbor asked Irvin to join her on a Meals On Wheels delivery seven years ago, it was a perfect fit to him. Today, he distributes hot and cold meals several times a week as one of the 250 volunteers with Senior Services of Alexandria. “This is my way of giving …

Older Americans Face Increasing Risk of Hunger

More than 15 percent of Americans over age 60 – some 9.3 million men and women – experienced the threat of hunger in 2012, according to a report just released by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. From the start of the recession in 2007 to 2012, the number of older people threatened by hunger has jumped 49 percent. The report, based on statistics from the 2012 Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, says the following groups of older Americans …

A Plan to End Hunger in America

As Americans sit down together for the Thanksgiving holiday, millions of older Americans and others worry about where their next meal will come from. A new report from the Bread for the World Institute challenges the nation to reduce hunger by 25 percent by 2017 and to eradicate it by 2030. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Since the economy has hit rougher times, more American households have become “food insecure” – meaning they are either hungry or …

Faces of Hunger in America

AARP Live – November 21, 2013 Guest blog post – Charlotte Whittaker I’ve seen the faces of hungry seniors across west Kentucky. While working as the Director of the Ohio County Senior Center, I saw first-hand how vital a simple home delivered was to these seniors. As a daughter of a rural Baptist preacher, I was taught at an early age the true meaning of compassion.  I was also taught that compassion wasn’t enough; I had a duty to help others …

Volunteering: Going Far Together

September 11 was AARP’s annual Day of Service where all employees can volunteer their time and talents to a charity of their choice. Along with 10 other AARP employees, I volunteered at Martha’s Table, a 33-year-old Washington, DC charity that, among other projects, feeds 1,100 people daily, many of them homeless. They also run a preschool and after school program for children from low income families.  As the Food Prep Volunteers, we chopped our way through what seemed like bottomless …