Tuesday morning, representatives of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation presented CareLink a check for $145,000 to assist with the organization’s efforts to end hunger among Arkansas’ senior citizens.
“Older people in Arkansas have the highest risk of hunger and malnutrition in the nation,” said Elaine Eubank, CEO of CareLink, “and dispute that, only about half the people who are eligible for SNAP are receiving that benefit.”
The program the Walmart Foundation helped fund Tuesday, will enable CareLink to disseminate information about how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP can better senior citizens’ budget and eating habits.
“Hunger is one of the key focuses of the Walmart Foundation we made a $2 billion commitment a few years ago to help eradicate hunger and this is just one example of how we’re accomplishing that goal,” said Erica Jones, senior manager of Walmart Community Affairs.
The money will also make it possible for CareLink to host application events and provide individual consultations to help senior citizens through the application process.
“We’re really excited about the work this grant is going to be able to do here to help educate the senior citizen community about the benefits that are available to them, and to help them sign up for these resources,” Jones said.
The grant was celebrated with lunch and cake at the senior citizens center. Care coordinators talked with senior citizens after lunch about their eligibility for SNAP benefits.
CareLink Outreach Manager Debbie Gillespie said CareLink will be making arrangements to set up events in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties where eligible senior citizens can sign up for SNAP.
Organizations can apply with the Walmart Foundation online at foundation.walmart.com for grants starting at $25,000. Last year the Walmart Foundation gave $1.7 million to organizations in Arkansas.
In 2011, the Walmart Foundation granted the Faulkner County Wellness and Activity Center a $61,250 check to assist with the center’s individual medical transportation program and Meals on Wheels.
Senior citizens interested in learning more about the SNAP program or setting up an individual appointment to assist with the application process can call 1-800-482-6359.