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City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs Puts Citizenship and Service in Action

Senior Corps Volunteers & Staff Host a Senior Food Pantry as part of MLK Day

January 20, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs Senior Corps Programs will host the first senior food pantry shopping experience today at the Barelas Senior Center (714 7th St., SW  87102) in volunteer service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.  Albuquerque residents will be joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country on this national day of service.

“I am very grateful to the volunteers who are answering Dr. King’s call to serve and are making a difference in the lives of seniors in need in our community,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry.  “Volunteer service is a powerful tool that builds strong communities.”

The City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs Senior Corps Programs collected non-perishable food items at senior centers throughout the city and partnered with Adelante’s Desert Harvest Food Rescue Program to create the first food pantry shopping experience for seniors.  In addition to the non-perishable food items that were collected, produce and bakery items that were rescued will also be available at the food pantry.  The Department of Senior Affairs identified a group of seniors who were invited to participate in the food pantry shopping experience that will take place between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The seniors will be able to select the type of food that they would like from the donations.  Seniors will also receive nutrition education information at the event.

Undernourishment and malnutrition are serious problems for America’s older population.  While estimates vary widely, the American Dietetics Association has reported that between 35 percent and 85 percent of seniors are at risk for being under or malnourished.  It is also estimated that one in nine seniors experience some form of hunger or “food insecurity,” the inability to obtain sufficient food for their household.  Older adults face many obstacles to getting healthy food and those challenges can lead to malnutrition.  The need for awareness about senior malnutrition is growing each day.  In fact, in 2012, New Mexico was #2 in the nation for senior malnutrition.

The Corporation for National and Community Service leads the annual MLK Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and schools and businesses nationwide.  For further information about the MLK Day of Service and what’s taking place across the country, visit MLKDay.gov.

To learn more about the services offered by the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs as well as volunteer opportunities, call (505) 764-6400.

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