Opportunity Details

Hunger & Homelessness
Low-income Communities, People with Health-based Concerns

Age Minimum (with Adult):18+, Minimum Age:18+

TeamWorks: Hidden Hunger -- Food Insecurity Among Our Elders (18+)

Hidden Hunger: Food Insecurity Among Our Elders

An Elders in Action- Encore Action TeamWorks

Times are tough!  Most seniors planned for their later years by saving money and relying on social security and retirement funds to support them. But things changed – and now many older adults are finding themselves in a financial pinch.

Do you realize that more than six million seniors face the threat of hunger and the number is only growing?  In Oregon, recent studies regarding our older adult population have found that we are 29th in the nation with just over 5 percent of our seniors experiencing hunger.

Have you ever had to choose between dinner and your prescriptions, or between groceries and paying for heat/utilities? In the U.S. about 3.6 million older Americans living below the poverty line are faced with these choices each month.

Join Elders in Action, the Hollywood Senior Center, Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services, and other partners for Hidden Hunger: Seniors and Food Insecurity, a special Encore Action TeamWorks focused on the service learning experience. This summer we will tackle the issues surrounding food insecurity for older adults in the Portland metro area. To achieve a better understanding of this issue, we will participate in a series of projects to support local partners who are already attempting to address senior hunger. We will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of our local food system and increase your knowledge on how access to nutrition impact the lives of one of our most vulnerable populations, elders, through a Team Orientation, and by attending the 2nd Annual Multnomah Food Summit.
  • Help develop a strong intergenerational community while bringing the joys of fresh vegetables to local older adults through the Bob’s Garden Project, collaboration with the Hollywood Senior Center and Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services;
  • Visit the Loaves & Fishes Headquarters and serve the daily meal, followed by a visit to the Neighborhood House Senior Food Pantry, to better appreciate the needs and challenges of older adult nutrition;
  • Work with Hollywood Farmer’s Market and Senior Center to develop an understanding and increase awareness of supplemental food programs; and assist seniors in accessing fresh produce at a local Farmer’s Market.

We will work directly with local agencies such as Hollywood Senior Center, Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services, Loaves & Fishes, and Neighborhood House Senior Center to deepen our understanding and facilitate discussion of the many facets of senior hunger and food insecurity.

The program seeks to connect volunteers of all ages to meaningful service opportunities that meet important needs of the community while providing opportunities for volunteers to proactively learn about critical social issues affecting their communities.

Encore Action Teams consist of a group of 10 to 15 peer-led volunteers who commit to a series of community service projects focused on a particular issue.  To support a meaningful and enriching experience, volunteers are asked to commit to participate in as many of the learning activities and service projects as possible.  Check the Project Schedule below to make sure it fits your schedule; when you register for the first event, you are registering to participate in the entire TeamWorks experience.  Questions can be directed to mark@eldersinaction.org or 503-595-7533

Team Schedule:

Wednesday, May 25: Orientation and Kickoff  (12pm-2pm)-  Local organizations have come together as the Senior Hunger Work Group to focus community attention on the growing problem of senior poverty and food insecurity. At this orientation we will meet with these agencies and learn more about this pressing problem through presentations and discussions as well as reviewing the Encore Action Team schedule and logistics

Location:  Elders in Actions Office, 1411 SW Morrison Ave., Suite 290, Portland, OR 97205 (2nd floor look for entrance next to Wells Fargo bank machine)  Public  TransportationBy Bus: Lines 15, 51, and 20   By Man Light Rail Both the BLUE line and the RED line stop at the Galleria station.

Friday, June 3rdMultnomah Food Summit  (9am-4pm)-  This event is optional for team members but it is  an excellent opportunity to get a deeper understanding of  the community strategic action plan for our local food system.  The event co-hosted by Multnomah County and the Multnomah Food Initiative will bring together over 200 food system stakeholders, as well as elected officials from Multnomah County, Metro, and the U.S. House of Representatives, to create a community-wide vision and action plan.   This is an opportunity to be involved with the movers and shakers who are fostering a sustainable, healthy, equitable, and prosperous local food system.  Entrance fees and lunch are provided.

Location: University Place Hotel & Convention Center 310 SW Lincoln St Portland, OR 97214

Friday, June 10thBob’s Garden  (10am-3pm)  Ever dreamed of being an urban farmer, or looked for an alternative to that boring lawn? Join the Hollywood Senior Center, Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services and Elders in Action to set up a garden plot to help older adults.  Bob is a local senior who loves to garden but can no longer do all the work.  He is willing to provide gardeners a place to practice their art while helping to build intergenerational communities and teach everyone the values of working together.  Produce generated from the garden will be used at the Hollywood Senior Center to provide nutritious, organic food for older adults.  We will have a day of good ol’ fashioned, get your hands dirty garden work all for the benefit of a local senior center. Bring your gloves, some nice sturdy shoes, clothing appropriate for the weather, and a dose of flexibility as we assemble for a few hours of work.

Location: Bob's Garden is located at 5232 NE Halsey, 97213.  Team will meet at  New Deal Café next to Bob's house on the day of the project.

Monday, June 20th: Loaves & Fishes Headquarters (10am-1pm)- Loaves & Fishes serves 5000 meals a day to local older adults through congregate and home-delivered meal programs, we will learn all about this vital nutrition service and help serve the days meal. Additionally, we will tour the nearby Neighborhood House Senior Food Pantry, and find out about the growing need for older adult specific emergency food distribution.

Location: 7710 SW 31st Ave., Portland, OR, 97219; Located in Multnomah Village.  Must wear long pants and close toe shoes)

Saturday, July 9thHollywood Senior Center and Farmer’s Market (11am-2pm)- We will focus on understanding and increasing awareness of the nutrition assistance programs available to older adults. Volunteers will take part in the Hollywood Market’s “gleaning” program, a partnership of the market, the North East Community Center, and the Hollywood Senior Center that creates food boxes that will be distributed to low-income homebound seniors in the area, which for some will be their first experience with fresh, local produce.

Location: 1820 Northeast 40th Avenue  Portland, OR 97212-5308 

This project is appropriate for volunteers age 18 and older.

Click "Sign Up" below to reserve your spot! Need help signing up? Call 503-200-3355.

Click "Sign Up" below to reserve your spot! Need help signing up? Call 503-200-3355.

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