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Drive to End Hunger | 2015

TEAMING UP TO FIGHT HUNGER A Five-Year Retrospective

WE IMAGINED IT AND IT HAPPENED... Five years ago, AARP and AARP Foundation began an unprecedented collaboration with Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon in the Drive to End Hunger. It was the first-ever cause-related primary sponsorship of a major race car team. Today, five years and 107 races later with Jeff behind the wheel of his #24 Chevrolet, our work to fight hunger among older adults has been transformed. Not only have we created awareness of America’s 10 million food-insecure seniors to millions of racing fans at NASCAR tracks around the country and on national media, we have established enduring relationships with partners that have helped us become leaders in the anti-hunger effort. Through our Drive to End Hunger, we have engaged thousands of volunteers who have packaged millions of meals that have been distributed to at-risk seniors through food banks and other hunger relief agencies. But we know that the needs of hungry seniors involve more than short term relief. Drive to End Hunger has positioned AARP and AARP Foundation to address the systemic issues that keep people from accessing adequate healthy food. I’ve had the pleasure of working very closely with our Drive to End Hunger program, both as the former president of AARP Foundation, and now as CEO of AARP. I have seen both entities enlarge their capacity to serve America’s food-insecure seniors, putting us on the path to new strategies and loftier goals. We are forever grateful to the partners who joined us in this fundamentally important cause and look forward to continuing this collaboration as we continue our fight to leave older adult hunger in the dust.


Jo Ann Jenkins CEO, AARP

...BUT THIS ISN’T THE FINISH LINE. It’s been a great ride, and the journey is far from over. Looking back over the five years of our relationship with Jeff Gordon, Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, we at AARP Foundation and everyone associated with Drive to End Hunger can’t help but be proud. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this extraordinary work. It’s an encouraging experience to look back on all that we’ve accomplished and to think of the millions of older adults struggling with hunger whose daily burden has been eased thanks to Drive to End Hunger. You’ll also find in these pages a glimpse of the future and how we are moving forward. Our strategy has evolved to embrace not only meeting immediate needs but also creating and advancing transformational solutions that hold out the promise of ending senior hunger once and for all. We are committed to collaboration across a broad range of organizations and stakeholders, with the goal of creating systemic change. Winning races takes a team, and that’s precisely how it has been with Drive to End Hunger — and always will be in our work to create a food-secure nation. Without our sponsors, large and small, without our dedicated volunteers, without every single one of our supporters, we wouldn’t have a view of the finish line that keeps us all going. Winning takes both deliberate planning and boldness “on the track.” We have the courage to think differently and to innovate, and as the history of Drive to End Hunger so clearly demonstrates, the rigor to get it right. Take pride in where we have been. Be inspired by where we are going. Be part of where we are headed.

Warm regards,


AN UNPRECEDENTED ALLIANCE THE FIRST-EVER CAUSE-DRIVEN NASCAR SPONSORSHIP Five years ago, in October 2010, AARP Foundation announced an unprecedented alliance with four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports — the first-ever cause-driven NASCAR sponsorship. At the time, the effort was primarily focused on engaging the NASCAR fan base as well as corporations and charitable organizations. This aspect of the initiative has been a tremendous success with more than 34 million meals being donated, benefitting thousands of charitable organizations across the country.

IT’S BEEN AN AMAZING RIDE During the past five years, we have invested in research on the causes and consequences of hunger among older Americans, which has improved our understanding of what is needed to address the root cause of the problem. This has also informed our work with grantees across the country, supporting innovative approaches that deliver a lasting impact. Our collective efforts make clear that by working together we can help millions of struggling older adults. With this sponsorship, Jeff Gordon got behind the wheel of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS for 107 races.


Few Americans are aware of the struggles facing older adults, particularly when it comes to food security. Their struggle is often underestimated, especially the struggle to have a decent quality of life. While educating the public on the issue of hunger and food security, AARP Foundation is also working to expand our understanding of the variables that increase the risk of hunger for seniors.


To invite Americans and community partners into the issue, AARP Foundation supports on-the-ground activities that address hunger — such as meal packing and SNAP application assistance — and provides volunteers with specific, rewarding actions that benefit their community.


We also convene diverse organizations — from the private, public and nonprofit sectors — to help expand successful programs nationally and ensure resources go further.

“With the help of Jeff and the Hendrick team, we have made the most of this unprecedented opportunity to end the struggle that so many older Americans have with hunger.”


“This was a truly unique opportunity to help people, through a completely new, cause-driven approach to sponsorship. The past five years has been a true team effort throughout, and while it hasn’t been easy, we are on track to solve this problem.”



“The past five years has presented us with a truly unique and special opportunity for all of us at Hendrick Motorsports, and while we have made great progress on and off the track, our success will ultimately be measured by how many lives we impact.”



THROUGH COLLABORATION, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE Since its inception, Drive to End Hunger has been a powerful catalyst. Organizations and volunteers at the national, state and community level have come together to tackle the issue of older adult hunger through grant-funded research, training and education efforts. Without these organizations — from AARP state offices to local nonprofits — and their dedication to finding solutions, AARP Foundation’s work wouldn’t be possible. Highlights of involvement across our nation include:



New Mexico

AARP Foundation is contributing $1 million over three years to L.A. Kitchen while we work together to address senior hunger in Los Angeles. L.A. Kitchen provides older adults with access to local produce sourced from local farmers and operates a culinary arts job-training.

Because Idaho had no active SNAP outreach program focused on older adults, the AARP state office built a first-ever grassroots coalition to promote education on SNAP eligibility. The program garnered the endorsement of the governor, and the Department of Health and Welfare conducted outreach efforts, with new materials developed by the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force. Volunteers are now trained to work with community partners to continue this outreach, and the AARP state office is recognized and called upon to engage in hunger-related advocacy.

Hidalgo Medical Services, through an AARP Foundation Hunger Innovation Grant, is working with community stakeholders to create a sustainable local food economy that offers affordable and healthy food for older adults in a frontier region of the state, where most of the food grown is outsourced to far-away metropolitan markets. One key component of the project is a “hoop house” at a local elementary school, which serves as an intergenerational greenhouse and educational site for the county’s old and young.

NATIONAL INITIATIVES Feeding America Senior Grocery Program (SGP) Pilots:

Montana In collaboration with the Montana State University (MSU), the Gallatin Valley Food Bank is implementing a multifaceted program to empower food-insecure older adults in rural Southwestern Montana and connect local efforts to address older adult hunger. At the heart of the project is a community food truck staffed by MSU nutrition students, who gain experience and course credit while providing a valuable service.

Iowa In collaboration with the Iowa Food Bank Association, the Iowa AARP office launched a virtual food drive. Through a website, donors were able to “shop” for specific food items they could donate and could also then donate food in bundles or simply contribute money. Because transportation and volunteer hours weren’t required, the virtual food drive helped the food bank association lower costs and stretch donations further.

AARP Foundation provided a $500,000 grant to pilot Feeding America’s SGP. Local food banks administer the program, providing nutritious, healthy food to people over the age of 60 at risk of hunger. In 2013, 10 Feeding America pilot sites were funded, including Santa Barbara, CA; Lafayette, IN; Flint, MI; Raleigh, NC; New York, NY; Eugene, OR; Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Lubbock, TX; and Tyler, TX. Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA): With a $350,000 grant provided by AARP Foundation, Brown University and its Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research evaluated the efficacy of Meals on Wheels and identified opportunities for improvement in communities across the country.

Rhode Island

Campus Kitchens Project:

A video series, “Hungry in the West End,” was developed by the Rhode Island AARP office to address older adult hunger in Providence’s West End community, an impoverished neighborhood further burdened by the recession. The video series puts a face on the problem of older adult hunger and has aired across the country, with more than 9,000 YouTube views to date.

In 2013, AARP Foundation helped the Campus Kitchens Project expand 10 Campus Kitchens through a $148,500 grant. The expansion included development of new strategies and partnerships that connected older Americans with food resources, while also creating the capacity for Campus Kitchens to provide SNAP application assistance services and referrals to seniors. Food Dollars:


Washington, D.C.

Working with a broad coalition of stakeholders including Auburn University, the Alabama AARP office helped create a steering committee to develop the Alabama Food Policy Council. The steering committee participated in nine listening sessions across the state with nearly 230 people coming together to identify hunger issues, increase awareness and assess various communities’ ability to address the issues. A white paper with lessons learned was presented at various regional food/farm conferences and distributed across Alabama.

The local office of AARP in Washington, D.C. worked with the D.C. Senior Advisory Council, the D.C. Office on Aging and D.C. Hunger Solutions to develop an introductory video presentation about four food programs available to eligible older adults: food stamps, home-delivered meals, congregate meals and a local commodities program. The video was used in a series of programs and, with the help of 22 volunteers, 147 eligible people submitted applications for SNAP in one month.

The Food Dollars program, run by Action for Boston Community Development Elder Services, delivers a nutrition and financial literacy curriculum to older adults in several of Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. In the first year, more than 100 older adults completed the program, with three out of four participants reporting an increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables and more than half noting a decreased use of bad fats.

AT THE TRACK NASCAR fans are among the most charitable, community-minded sports fans in the country, and during the past five years, Drive to End Hunger has benefited greatly from their collective sense of commitment to join us in our efforts to end senior hunger.




DECEMBER | 2010 With AARP’s sponsorship of the #24 car, the Drive to End Hunger campaign launches as a collaboration between AARP, AARP Foundation, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon

CHARLOTTE 1 MILLION Jeff Gordon, Martina Navratilova and other celebrities joined nearly 1,800 volunteers and our corporate sponsors and supporters in May 2012 to package and donate 1 million meals to North Carolina food banks. The event generated 443,980 meals, with remaining raw materials to pack an additional 556,000 meals.

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY To celebrate the beginning of the Drive to End Hunger season in 2013, NASCAR fans volunteered in shifts for two days at the Daytona International Speedway to pack meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

CHICAGO In August 2013, Chicagoland Speedway and Hillshire Brands joined AARP Foundation to host a meal-packing event at Navy Pier to benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank. Over the course of four hours, volunteers packed more than 1,700 boxes of food, yielding more than 25,000 meals.

In January 2012, Chevrolet and Hendrick Motorsports teamed up with Jeff Gordon to auction off a Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. The special edition car, made for Corvette’s 60th anniversary, was the first time the model was offered to the public. The auction ultimately raised $600,000 for AARP Foundation and Drive to End Hunger, and an additional $100,000 was donated by another bidder, totaling $700,000.





Jeff Gordon’s first race in the Drive To End Hunger #24 car

Jeff Gordon’s first win in the Drive To End Hunger #24 car at Phoenix International Raceway

5,862,871 meals donated in 2011

FANS FUEL THE EFFORT Fans have gone above and beyond to fuel the effort. They’ve participated in meal-packing events, donated money, engaged with us on social media and more, all to help raise awareness about food insecurity in adults 50+. With their support, we’ve made resources go further in local communities.








MAY | 2012

MAY | 2012


Stamp Out Hunger partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers launches

Charlotte, NC 1 Million Meal pack event

10,064,551 meals donated in 2012


OCTOBER | 2013



Jeff and the Drive To End Hunger #24 car win at Martinsville Speedway

Meal packing event with the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins and Feeding South Florida

13,562,542 meals donated in 2013


We’ve collaborated with a range of organizations — from national nonprofits to local food banks and sports franchises — all of which have helped to raise awareness of the issue of senior hunger.

No Mas Hambre – working to shape the conversation around hunger among Latino adults 50 and older. In 2012, AARP Foundation launched No Mas Hambre (No More Hunger) in collaboration with LATINO Magazine. Approximately one in seven Latino Americans between 50 and 70 struggle with food security, but this wasn’t an issue that was being talked about in Latino communities. With the commitment to look at all of its efforts through a multicultural lens, AARP Foundation joined with LATINO Magazine to create a series of articles and forums to educate readers about the issue. This collabotarion also now features an annual national summit that works to shape the conversation around hunger, dispel misconceptions and continue to raise awareness about how hunger impacts Latino Americans. Stamp Out Hunger Drive to End Hunger joined the National Association of Letter Carriers in 2011 for its annual food drive, Stamp Out Hunger. Letter carriers helped in the collection of bags of non-perishable food items from


JANUARY | 2014

APRIL | 2014

30th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports

2nd Annual Barrett Jackson auction raises $500,000 for AARP Foundation

Miami Team Spirit

One Millionth Meal

In 2013, the Miami Dolphins and then World Champion Miami HEAT joined the fight against hunger by hosting two meal-packing events to raise awareness of older adult hunger in South Florida. Combined, the events brought together 300 volunteers who packed 6,000 boxes totaling 100,000 meals. In 2014, the Miami Dolphins and AARP Foundation teamed up again, working with 4,000 volunteers to pack almost 1 million meals.

In October 2014, Jeff Gordon delivered the one millionth meal to Meals on Wheels recipients from Stoneville, NC on his way to the Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Tropicana Partnership In January 2013, AARP Foundation partnered with Tropicana and CH Robinson to promote Drive to End Hunger. The campaign, along with the #24 car, was featured on the company’s five pound boxes of mandarin oranges, which appeared in Target, Walgreens and Food City. A portion of sales were donated to Drive to End Hunger, raising $75,000.

the doorsteps of homes and then deliver those donations to local food banks and pantries. Our support of the efforts of the National Association of Letter Carriers has resulted in the collection off more than 13 million pounds of food. Dallas Mavericks While Drive to End Hunger began with NASCAR, the initiative has attracted the interest of other professional sports teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, who hosted a Drive to End Hunger meal-packing event in 2013 that resulted in 100,000 meals and $75,000 in donations to the North Texas Food bank.

Partnership with Lime Rock Park Race Track Lime Rock Park chose AARP Foundation and the Drive to End Hunger campaign as its 2014 official charity partner. As part of the effort, the two organizations teamed up to host a mealpacking event where 266 volunteers from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York came to Lime Rock Park and packed 5,000 meals. The event raised more than $190,000.

MAY | 2014

OCTOBER | 2014


Jeff and the Drive To End Hunger #24 team win at Kansas Speedway

Campus Kitchens Project launches

2,508,021 meals donated in 2014











Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger in 2010, we have done big things. We’ve raised awareness of the challenges older adults face when it comes to hunger. We’ve found effective ways to improve food security. We’ve made a difference in the lives of millions of adults 50+. But more importantly, we’ve made significant progress in ending senior hunger.








Jeff Gordon claims NASCAR’s Iron Man title after starting 789 consecutive races

Jeff Gordon and the Drive To End Hunger #24 team win at Martinsville Speedway

2,411,905 meals donated in 2015




29,009 LAPS










39,163 MILES

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS Drive to End Hunger’s success would not have been possible without the participation of our organizational sponsors and supporters. Through their generosity, we have helped older Americans find a meal while also raising money for long-term solutions to the hunger issue. By working together, we have created a multiplier effect — coming together to reach more people, work more efficiently, and make our collective resources go further. With grants, research and community outreach, we are helping to make a difference, one community at a time.



CELEBRITY SUPPORT Whether it’s participating in meal packing events, raising funds for AARP Foundation programs or bringing attention to the issue of senior hunger, many high profile celebrities have supported Drive to End Hunger over the years. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support and generosity.

Image: Kendrick Brinson

Image:Todd Williamson/Invision for Porsche/AP Images

On September 11, 2015, celebrity chef Carla Hall joined AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson on stage at our Celebration of Service meal-packing event on the National Mall, where we packed over 1.1 million meals for struggling seniors. Carla also joined AARP Foundation at a meal-packing event in Miami, FL, and has been supportive of the Foundation’s partnership with L.A. Kitchen.

Image: Vince Bucci/Invision for AARP Media/AP Images

In September of 2011, Carrie Underwood and Stevie Wonder joined Tony Bennett on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a concert to benefit Drive to End Hunger and celebrate Bennett’s 85th birthday. The concert, held as part of Life@50+, AARP’s national event and expo, raised funds for AARP Foundation’s hunger programs.

A CELEBRATION OF SERVICE On September 11, 2015, more than 3,000 volunteers donated 6,000 hours and packed 30,550 boxes of food, which totaled more than 1.1 million meals for vulnerable seniors across the Washington, D.C. metro region.

THE FINISH LINE IS THE STARTING POINT FOR OUR NEXT CHAPTER Hunger is about more than a meal. What starts as an unexpected job loss for adults 50+ can quickly lead to sacrificing food in order to keep the lights on, pay the rent or buy medicine. And that puts older adults at greater risk for chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. By and large, the United States continues to treat hunger as a social problem. And certainly socioeconomic status is the chief driving factor in the more than 17.5 million U.S. households currently dealing with hunger. But what if we challenged conventional wisdom a bit and began to think of hunger more as a public health issue? Would that change how we address the problem? The path forward is a true game changer. Hunger is a health issue. Taking this approach means addressing hunger not only through emergency response, but on the front end as well, through sustainable business models, through education, through incentives for healthy eating, and through cutting-edge research. It means addressing the root causes of hunger. We believe there is an opportunity to consolidate, integrate and coordinate action among a wide range of organizations to transform the food supply chain. If we work together in an efficient, focused and prioritized manner, we can ensure that each and every older adult has access to healthy, affordable food.

• Every day, 1 in 10 Americans over age 50 skips or skimps on a meal • 19% of food-insecure adults ages 50–59 have diabetes • 28% of food-insecure adults ages 50–59 have depression • Food insecurity costs U.S. adults an estimated $130.5 billion

THE ROOT CAUSE COALITION The Root Cause Coalition was launched this Fall with ProMedica, an Ohio based non-profit health system. It’s mission is to improve the health status of individuals and communities, with a focus on the social determinants of health, and raising awareness of hunger as a health issue. The Coalition will host events to spread awareness about hunger as a health issue and commission research on the correlation of hunger to overall health. Activities will also include advocating for policy change, while working in partnership with local policymakers to develop effective strategies and programs that provide nutrition education.

OUR GOALS • Improving the nutritional quality, freshness, and safety of foods consumed by the 50+ population. • Promoting efficient distribution systems that work to reduce cost and increase availability of and access to healthy, nutritious foods. • Strengthening food knowledge to enhance buying power, purchasing habits and cooking skills that result in healthy, nutritious and age-appropriate meals.

FRE$H SAVINGS PROGRAM Fre$h Savings ensures that we’re not only feeding America’s hungry, but also providing food-insecure families with an opportunity to enjoy healthy food options. The Fre$h Savings program, in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, allows lower income families to purchase more fruits and vegetables by matching every $10 spent by a SNAP consumer with a coupon for savings for the next purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. The program launched in September 2015 in grocery stores and farmers markets in vulnerable districts across Mississippi and Tennessee.

Facing Hunger After Fifty In collaboration with Feeding America, we released a report titled “Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After Fifty,” which presented research findings that document how boomers facing the challenge of food security also often face other challenges such as lack of employment, housing instability, poor health and unpaid medical bills, especially since most in this group are not eligible for federal support programs like Social Security and Medicare. Boomers are particularly vulnerable to hardship and are more likely than their older peers to: • Describe their own health as fair to poor (59%) • Have unpaid medical or hospital bills (58%) • Live in a household experiencing poverty (72%) • Live in a household that is food insecure (86%)

ABOUT AARP FOUNDATION Shining a light on the invisible struggles of older adults has motivated AARP Foundation from the start. Every day, we’re pioneering new solutions to solve the fundamental challenges that low-income older adults face, while working to address the root cause of the issue: the need for functional and affordable housing, adequate and nutritious food, steady income, and strong and sustaining social bonds. Our efforts give adults 50+ a voice, make them more visible, and give them the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at

CREATING A FOOD-SECURE NATION More than 10 million older adults face hunger daily. AARP Foundation focuses on systems changes that have a lasting, healthy effect. In addition to all the strides we’ve made with the Drive to End Hunger campaign, we are working to improve the nutritional quality, freshness and safety of foods consumed by the 50+ population; promoting efficient distribution systems that reduce cost and increase availability; strengthening food knowledge so older adults have enhanced buying power, purchasing habits and cooking skills that result in healthy, nutritious and age-appropriate meals; and educating decision-makers about hunger’s impact and its emerging role as a health issue.

BUILDING FINANCIAL RESILIENCY Record numbers of older adults lack the financial resources to meet their basic needs, and today more than a third of unemployed older workers have been out of the workforce for more than a year. AARP Foundation programs are designed to help older Americans regain control of their future. This includes working in twenty communities nationwide to provide older Americans with access to job training, support and employment through our Back to Work 50+ program. AARP Foundation Experience Corps volunteers work with more than 32,000 K-3 students to improve literacy in communities across the country. Countless individuals 55+ have found work through AARP Foundation’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, and 50 million low- to moderate-income taxpayers have been helped by AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers.

MAKING HOMES SAFER AND MORE AFFORDABLE High housing costs currently force a third of adults 50 and over to pay more than 30 percent of their income for homes that may not fit their needs. In addition, much of the nation’s housing lacks basic accessibility for those with disabilities. And most older adults live in car-dependent or rural locations, where affordable transportation and infrastructure may not be available. A study developed by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation guides our approach to increase the available affordable housing supply and ensure that these homes are equipped to meet the needs of older Americans. AARP Foundation also is working with policymakers, partners and communities to make the infrastructure of buses, sidewalks and bike lanes more available.

BUILDING STRONGER SOCIAL BONDS Nearly 8 million older adults are socially isolated, which can have devastating and severe consequences including depression, a heavier burden of chronic disease, and a shortened lifespan. To tackle the issue, we are elevating solutions that rebuild connections and bridges to much-needed social support and healthcare services. We are pioneering research to better understand the scope of the problem and the extent of poor health outcomes attached to it. We’re also creating a national awareness campaign to demonstrate the urgency behind social isolation and motivate collective action to solve it. AARP Foundation’s Mentor Up program has empowered 15,000+ youth volunteers to help 30,000+ older adults through companionship, technology literacy, meal delivery and more.

ADVOCATING FOR OLDER ADULTS IN THE COURTS When someone is in a vulnerable position, they often don’t have the resources or ability to advocate for themselves. That means too many people over 50 fall victim to fraud, age discrimination and other violations of their basic rights. AARP Foundation advocates for the rights of people 50 and older in courts nationwide, addressing legal issues that affect their daily lives and ensuring they have a voice in the judicial system. Our work in this area gives older adults the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives as they age.

Driving the #24 car and working to bring awareness to the issue of older adult hunger has been so rewarding. It’s been a great ride. JEFF GORDON

Four-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion

We’ve traveled many miles — and celebrated many victories — with Drive to End Hunger. As we move forward adding new, innovative approaches to our existing efforts, our eyes remain firmly fixed on the finish line — a country where no older person goes hungry. Make no mistake: The drive is still strong to leave senior hunger in the dust. LISA MARSH RYERSON President, AARP Foundation Copyright ©2015 by AARP Foundation. All rights reserved.

AARP Drive to End Hunger  
AARP Drive to End Hunger