Joel Berg, the Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger was my guest on this program. I interviewed Joel at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 25th. Mr. Berg was giving a talk to a group of volunteers for AARP.
I was invited to interview Mr. Berg by Michael Olender, Associate State Director of AARP for North Carolina. Joel Berg is also the author of : All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America. He also worked in the Clinton Administration in 1992.
Our far ranging conversation covered the SNAP (food stamp) program, the low incidence of fraud in that program, school breakfast and lunch programs, hunger among the growing senior adult population in America, and possible solutions to the formidable problem of hunger, or ‘food insecurity’ if you will, in this country.
Not having enough to eat, on a daily basis, is a major factor in our society that impacts everyone from the young to the oldest old. School age children are less able to focus and learn when they do not receive sufficient nutrition, and older Americans are more likely to exacerbate failing health without proper food intake. Many older Americans are forced to choose between buying food, or their needed medicine, or paying the utility bill. In a country with the wealth and blessings that America possesses, we at the least, should be able to feed our people.
Thanks for listening, and I welcome your comments.
Michael Olender and Leonardo Scarpati, both Associate State Directors of AARP North Carolina, were my special guests on Radio 4 the Ages today. Although these two gentlemen are assigned to North Carolina, the AARP efforts to improve the lives of all Americans, and specifically those 50+, were discussed this morning.
If you, like many others upon reaching the age of 50, go through the stages of grief that accompany that milestone, you should rejoice in your new found ability to join AARP! As Michael Olender put it, “…50 is now the new 25.” Volunteerism is a vital part of AARP’s efforts to involve the community in service. Their ‘Life Reimagined for Work’ program is an AARP resource, connected through LinkedIn, that connects older workers with companies who value the contributions of experienced workers. All you need is a most affordable membership to AARP to take advantage of all the many benefits available.
Michael and Leo discussed many AARP initiatives, including Livable Community Listening Sessions, Coffee and Conversation, Affordable Utilities Now and many more. It’s a far ranging conversation that clearly states the AARP message for improving quality of life for our 50+ Americans.
Whether you live in the Charlotte area, in South Carolina, or are listening anywhere in the United States, please visit the AARP web site to explore the wonderful information available there as well as the services and opportunities that AARP offers.
Today was a especially fun day for me, as I returned to the studio after an almost three week experience with diverticulitis. If you don’t know what that is, I suggest that you don’t ever get to find out. I was cared for by the wonderful team at Carolina’s Health Care’s Pineville Medical Center, who were involved with getting me back ‘on the microphone’. And as a disclaimer, Carolina’s Health Care is not a current advertiser or sponsor of Radio 4 the Ages.
Zaneida Chambliss, a repeat visitor to our show, was my special guest this morning. “Z” as she’s affectionately known, is the Director of Nursing at the Stewart Health Center, part of the Cypress, a CCRC in Charlotte. And a first timer, William Phillip, an IT expert and Hofstra University grad, was with us also, and he offered another viewpoint to the discussion.
We discussed personal health, good eating and exercise habits, lifestyle changes that ARE POSSIBLE. Folks always find time for things they enjoy, want to do, and think there is value in. Why Americans don’t understand that a pill will not fix their heart disease, diabetes, aching joints, lack of flexibility, and other co-morbidities, and that they themselves can have a major influence on these conditions, is beyond my understanding.
I also gave a personal day to day account of my experience fighting illness, my hospital experience, and the appreciation I gained of the hospital staff at CMC Pineville in Charlotte, NC.
My sincere thanks to all of my caregivers, and in fact to all those who work in health care, for their unique ability to put their personal lives on hold, and ‘be in the moment’ with person centered care for individuals in their charge.