Alliance Members AARP and Outreach Program Pack over 1.2 Million Meals on 9/11
September 22, 2015
Rick McNary, Co-Chair, Outreach, Inc.
“This is the first time I’ve ever volunteered to do anything. I didn’t know it could be so much fun to help the hungry.” – Meal-Packaging Volunteer Roberto Tjeda
Two Alliance to End Hunger members – AARP and Outreach Program – engaged more than 5,000 volunteers and employees on A Day of Celebration 2015 to package over 1.2 million Outreach Program Rice and Bean Casserole meals in Washington, DC on Friday, September 11 to help feed hungry seniors, veterans and first responders in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland area.
AARP received permission from the National Parks Service to secure an area on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument to conduct the packaging event. An air-conditioned building was set up to house over 700 volunteers during each shift.
Packaging was stopped occasionally for a moment of silence during the event to honor those whose lives were tragically taken on 9/11.
Outreach founder Floyd Hammer remarked, “This is the third million-meal event we’ve had with AARP. Our meals, which have been formulated by Iowa State University’s Food Science Department, are nutritious and taste good. Seniors, kids, and veterans like the meals. An event like this is perfect way for a corporation or organization to affordably meet their corporate social responsibility goals, involve hundreds of volunteers, raise sponsor awareness, have fun, and provide a needed community service. The events are a fantastic way to engage employees and volunteers in their community.”
AARP CEO Joann Jenkins said, “When we started working on senior hunger 5 years ago, Outreach and Floyd and Kathy were the first ones we brought to the table to ask how can we do this in the most efficient way. I can’t say that we’ve had a better partner than Outreach in helping figure out how to package and deliver nutritional meals that are really going to make a difference in the lives of the people we’re trying to serve.
AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh-Ryerson said, “Today is a fabulous day for the AARP Foundation and for the millions of seniors who struggle across this nation. To be here with our colleagues from Outreach, our colleagues from the Capital Area Food Bank and Chase Card Services, the United Health Care of the Hartford, and 5,000 dedicated Hunger Heroes who are lifting up their hearts and their hands in service to low income seniors, is truly amazing! This day is a day of remembrance for us and we’ve taken that energy of neighbors helping neighbors and have come together to help seniors in need.”
AARP Vice President of Hunger-Impact, Jim Lutzweiler said, “This is a fantastic event. Obviously it generates a lot of awareness; it brings people together; and it gives us a chance to ingrain our colleagues in our work to see what we do on a daily basis. But more than that, this product will help feed hungry seniors and veterans.”
Alliance to End Hunger COO Rebecca Middleton also participated in the event and remarked, “It was a pleasure to join Alliance members AARP Foundation and Outreach for their historic meal pack on the National Mall on the National Day of Service. We were thrilled that so many other Alliance members participated as well. This event drew attention to the challenge of hunger in the U.S., and I hope it will be a launching point for further discussions with policymakers on sustainable solutions to ending hunger in this country.”