AARP Foundation needs volunteers to help pack half a million meals for struggling seniors

Those who want to participate in AARP Foundation’s Summer of Service to Seniors program in Denver can still sign up.

staff photo
2017 Summer of service to seniors in Memphis, Tennessee. (Brandon Dill/AP Images for AARP Media)

2017 Summer of Service to Seniors in Memphis, Tennessee. (Brandon Dill/AP Images for AARP Media)

AARP Foundation is rolling into Denver on Sunday to pack half a million meals for struggling seniors in the area.

Denver is the second of four cities AARP Foundation is hitting during its inaugural Summer of Service to Seniors program. The program aims to help the more than 10 million older adults facing hunger daily.

More than 1,600 people have already signed up to help pack rice and beans from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the University of Denver Magness Arena, said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation.

“I’m really pleased that all of those meals — the half a million meals — will stay right in the Denver metro area and be distributed by the Food Bank of the Rockies as well as the Denver Indian Center.”

Marsh Ryerson said about 1,800 people attended the kick-off event last month in Memphis, Tennessee. Those who want to participate in Denver can still register here or sign up Sunday at DU.

Denver was partly chosen for the event because of its “spirit of volunteerism” and status as the “Baby Boomer Capital of America,” she said.

More than a fifth of adults older than 55 are living below the poverty line in the Mile High City, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Statewide, Hunger Free Colorado estimates 1 out of 7 seniors struggle with having enough food at times.

“Seniors who struggle with poverty are faced with really the question of, ‘Can I afford food?’ for example, or, ‘Can I buy the medication I need?'” Marsh Ryerson said. “These are really incredible problems that are facing low-income older adults, and by participating on July 9 volunteers can join us at an event where they know during this day of action that they are making a measurable difference in the lives of low-income seniors right in the Denver area, helping to meet the immediate need of hunger and learning more about what they can and should be doing to reduce senior poverty in Denver.”

After Denver, AARP Foundation is planning to stop in the Twin Cities in Minnesota on Aug. 6 and wrap up the program in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10 and 11.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at or

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.