LatinaLista — Between 2006 and 2008, there has been a 115 percent increase in the number of older people facing hunger. There are now an estimated 6 million people over the age of 60 who go hungry every day. The nation, as a whole, sees hunger as a big problem, but not as much as Latino communities do.
AARP reports that 85 percent of older Latinos feel hunger is an important issue compared to 83 percent of the general senior population. And, 35 percent of Latinos feel it’s the single most important issue facing the country while only 14 percent of the general population feels the same way.
Obviously, older Latinos know that hunger is a real issue among their neighbors but when it comes to donating food to a food bank or donating money to an organization that helps feed people, even with all that compassion, older Latinos were found to less likely contribute.
Maybe the reason is because those polled have barely enough in their paychecks to stretch until the next pay period. Donating money or buying extra food to give away just doesn’t fit into the family budget.
Does that mean Latinos would stand by and watch somebody starve? No, but donating through established organizations hasn’t been the traditional way Latinos help one another.
Latino charitable giving usually ranges from slipping a few bucks to somebody or giving plates of leftovers to take home after a party or sending over grocery sacks of homemade tortillas, caldo or whatever was made in the family kitchen.
Latinos do help — but in a more intimate way that shows a level of care and personal commitment that an ordinary donation doesn’t easily convey or leaves with a lasting impression.