by Brittany Banks, Communication Manager, © Feeding America
What Is Hunger Action Month™?
September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide campaign mobilizing the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Organized by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, the campaign brings greater attention to the issue of hunger in America and promotes ways for individuals everywhere to get involved with the movement to solve it.
Join us this September. As individuals, charities, businesses and government, we all have a role to play in getting food to those in need. Together, we can solve hunger!™
What Actions Can I Take to Make a Difference?
By taking action online and in your community, you can be a part of the solution to end hunger nationwide. Here are a few ways you can help:
ON HUNGER ACTION DAY™, TURN ORANGE FOR HUNGER RELIEF!™:
On Thursday, September 4, 2014, we kick off our month-long effort to turn the nation orange in support of hunger-relief. We encourage everyone to play a role and show your support by wearing orange! Show your support online too! Change your Facebook and Twitter profile orange.
SUPPORT CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS
1 in 5 kids in the United States faces hunger. Next year, Congress has an important opportunity to strengthen child nutrition programs, especially programs that target children when they are out of school and harder to reach. Feeding America and child hunger advocates are urging Congress to give states flexibility in how they operate summer, after-school, and weekend programs to better reach hungry kids.
- TAKE OUR PLEDGE Pledge your voice, share with others and become part of Feeding America’s advocacy team, helping us urge Congress to strengthen child nutrition programs.
- SEND Your MEMBER OF CONGRESS AN INVITATION: Encourage your Member of Congress to visit a child nutrition program of a local food bank. Congressional visits shine a spotlight on how federal nutrition programs make an impact in your community.
Find your local food bank and become a volunteer during September and all year long.
MortalityMore than 500,000 seniors die each year because they have Alzheimer’s. If Alzheimer’s was eliminated, half a million lives would be saved a year. Alzheimer’s is officially the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. However, it may cause even more deaths than official sources recognize. It kills more than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, while deaths from other major diseases decreased. Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed
Impact on CaregiversIn 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – care valued at $220.2 billion, which is nearly eight times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2012.
Cost to the nationAlzheimer’s disease is the most expensive condition in the nation. In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Despite these staggering figures, Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) in 2050. Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The average per-person Medicare spending for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is three times higher than for those without these conditions. The average per-person Medicaid spending for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is 19 times higher than average per-person Medicaid spending for all other seniors. The financial toll of Alzheimer’s on families rivals the costs to Medicaid. Total Medicaid spending for people with Alzheimer’s disease is $37 billion and out-of-pocket spending for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated at $36 billion.
Women and Alzheimer’sWomen are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. A woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man. As real a concern as breast cancer is to women’s health, women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s during the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer. Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer’s, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. More than 3 in 5 unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers are women – and there are 2.5 more women than men who provide 24-hour care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Because of caregiving duties, women are likely to experience adverse consequences in the workplace. Nearly 19 percent of women Alzheimer’s caregivers had to quit work either to become a caregiver or because their caregiving duties became too burdensome. *The Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures includes a special report on women and Alzheimer’s. Inspired by compelling findings published in The Shriver Report in 2010, the Alzheimer’s Association conducted a follow-up poll in 2014 to continue exploring how Alzheimer’s disease affects American women.
Alzheimer’s and dementia basicsAlzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Learn more: What We Know Today and Understanding Dementia.
- Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s. Learn more: Early Onset Alzheimer’s and Risk Factors
- Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. Learn more: 10 Warning Signs and Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing. Learn more: Standard Treatments, Treatment Horizon, Prevention and Clinical Trials.
Go Orange Campaign
Take Action Against Hunger This September and Go OrangeSeptember is Hunger Action Month, when the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks unites to urge individuals to take action in their communities. The goal of Hunger Action Month is to mobilize the public to act on behalf of Feeding America and our food bank network. It is our opportunity to create a movement throughout September that has a real and lasting impact on our mission to help end hunger in America. This September, join the Vermont Foodbank, Feeding America and Together, We Can Solve Hunger™. As individuals, charities, businesses and government, we all have a role to play in getting food to those in need. Take Action to Help Solve Hunger How can you help? This September, we are asking you to take simple actions. Take Action Online:
- Donate your status and share your local hunger statistics on Facebook and Twitter.
- Change your Facebook icon to this. Orthis.
- Change your Facebook cover image to the “Together we can solve hunger” image. Or the “Be a part of the solution to end hunger” image.
- Like Feeding America and the Vermont Foodbank on Facebook
- Invite your Member of Congress to visit your local food bank
- Pledge to stay in touch with the Vermont Foodbank
- Display the Go Orange poster at your business.
- Wear orange on September 5th.
- Volunteer at the Vermont Foodbank
- TAKE the 3SquaresVT/SNAP Challenge and live on just $4.50 a day, the daily average per person benefit.
- Sell limited edition orange Vermont Foodbank euro stickers for $1 and help create 3 meals for your neighbors in need.
Go Orange CampaignAre you are a business or organization interested in Going Orange during September? Orange is the color of the anti-hunger movement. To show their support in the fight against hunger during Hunger Action Month, business owners and organizations in cities and towns across America will Go Orange for the month of September. Here are some ways you can get involved.
- Sell Orange: Businesses can sell limited edition orange Vermont Foodbank bird stickers for $1. Each purchase will help the Foodbank provide 3 meals for our neighbors in need.
- Use Orange: Businesses can decorate their storefronts and display windows in the coloe orange to show their support in the fight against hunger.
- Share Orange: Use an orange profile or cover photo on your Facebook page for the month of September. Also make sure to “like” the Vermont Foodbank and share our Hunger Action updates to help spread the word.
- Wear Orange: Join food banks and businesses nationwide in taking action against hunger by wearing orange on Thursday, September 5th.