The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion How to help older residents access food

Nancy McNeil leaves with her lunch June 24 at Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center in D.C. (Craig Hudson/For the Washington Post)
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Regarding the June 27 Metro article “In D.C., hunger a struggle for seniors”:

Of all the divides we face in this country, the digital divide seems to have the most negative impact. D.C. is one of the most progressive places that offer various programs to assist low-income families. It’s a shame that the 14 government-funded programs do not serve people in need only because many don’t know that these services exist. This needs to be rectified.

As an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer for seniors (many on fixed incomes file taxes just to get D.C. rental credit), I noticed that many donate large amounts to local churches periodically. Unless they are totally disabled, many go to pharmacies, grocery stores and churches regularly. Informational fliers handed out in all these places promoting various programs might help increase awareness.

Through collaboration, nonprofits can access the senior database to transmit information on a timely basis, even text to their cellphones. Almost all seniors have cellphones.

Yamuna Dasarathy, Washington