In honor of National Senior Citizen Day, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, The Samuel Field Y Senior Day Center, Engage Jewish Service Corps and 50 local seniors participated in Senior Impact Day: Engage in Combating Hunger. Senior Impact Day was a dual-impact event; it provided seniors in the Queens community with important information and assistance on benefits and services while also engaging senior volunteers in peer outreach. Senior volunteers learned how to pre-screen seniors in need for SNAP and Met Council’s Metropair, a free handyman services.
Nationally, three out of five seniors are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formally Food Stamps), but do not participate. In New York City alone, 700,000 people are eligible for SNAP, but do not participate in the program. Met Council’s goal through education and assistance, is to provide client friendly and dignified support to help gain access to public benefits. Last year, Met Council enrolled 11,195 families into SNAP, leveraging more than $3 million in government benefits.
“Since Met Council’s inception, caring for seniors has been core to our mission,” said Alan Schoor, Met Council CEO and Executive Director. “Many of our clients work their entire lives, but when they become too frail to work, their lack of a deep and wide enough safety net makes it difficult for them to afford a nutritional diet or hire handymen. Our SNAP outreach work helps clients gain access to public benefits and our Metropair program helps frail seniors age in place and live safely in the homes they love.”
“The Samuel Field Y is excited to partner with Met Council to provide information to the public about available benefits that will greatly increase their ability to maintain safety and independence within the community,” said Jordana Davidson, social worker at The Samuel Field Y. “We recognize that food insecurity and home maintenance for low-income seniors are major issues in Queens that often go unaddressed. Because of this, we are proud to host this event which will increase public awareness about available resources. Additionally, we are excited that through Met Council and Engage Long Island/Queens we are able to provide a hands-on volunteer opportunity and training to volunteers interested in addressing the issue of hunger. We hope that through education, we can destigmatize and demystify myths about those dealing with food insecurity and help individuals in need to be connected to these life sustaining services.”
“Engage Jewish Service Corps Long Island Queens region is committed to working with Met Council on Jewish poverty. Engage volunteers will be mobilized to extend outreach to the Queens community, educating residents in need about SNAP benefits,” said, Susan Berman, said Community Organizer UJA-Federation of New York’s Engage Jewish Service Corps Long Island and Queens.