Winston-Salem Urban League joins national movement to end senior hunger

Winston-Salem Urban League joins national movement to end senior hunger
July 02
00:00 2015

In photo above: The Winston-Salem Urban League office

Millions of Americans 65 and over face a double whammy when it comes to eating a healthy diet: their income is fixed, and their spending on food is consuming a larger portion of their budget.

Nationally, adults aged 65-plus have an average annual income of $41,000 and they spend nearly $5,200 — or more than 12 percent — on food. Their friends just 10 years younger have a greater income (averaging $63,000 annually) and they spend less (10.6 percent) on groceries.

The Winston-Salem Urban League in partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has joined a nationwide effort to support these older adults by helping them access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that only 2 out of every 5 seniors who are eligible for SNAP are enrolled in the program. This means that millions of low-income elders are missing out on this vital program, which provides an average monthly benefit of $113 to help participants buy healthy food. This benefit could put adequate nutrition within reach for many seniors who
are struggling to make ends meet.

The Urban League is one of more than 30 community organizations around the country that is stepping up its efforts to assist seniors in applying for SNAP. The organizations will use NCOA’s free online BenefitsCheckUp tool at to screen older adults with limited income for their SNAP eligibility.

In 2014, the initiative helped more than 30,000 seniors apply for SNAP through local partners and assisted more than 300,000 to access the SNAP application online.

“We’re excited to be part of this proven effort that has the potential to help tens of thousands of low-income older adults improve their health and financial security,” said Patricia Sadler of the Winston-Salem Urban League. “Our agency has a strong history of helping seniors in need through employment service. We’re confident that increasing SNAP enrollment with BenefitsCheckUp and other proven outreach methods will have a profound effect on the lives of seniors in the 18 counties we serve which are urban and rural.”

To find out more about SNAP eligibility contact Tangela Reed the Urban League SNAP enrollment counselor at 336 725-5614 Ext. 3011. For more information on NCOA’s senior hunger initiative, visit

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