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Senior Outreach . Results of 4 years of work!. Why seniors are considered underserved?. Throughout the United States the average is about the same - Only 1 out of every 3 qualifying senior receives the assistance he/she needs and deserves. 2003 .

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Senior outreach

Senior Outreach

Results of 4 years of work!

Why seniors are considered underserved
Why seniors are considered underserved?

Throughout the United States the average is about the same -

Only 1 out of every 3 qualifying senior receives the assistance he/she needs and deserves


  • PHFO interviewed seniors at various Washington County Senior Centers and found the results were much like the rest of country

  • Seniors believed the following myths to be true:

    • Did not know they qualified

    • Believed cars and homes would disqualify them

    • Believed taking benefits would mean others went without

    • Believed getting benefits is charity

    • Believed it hurt Oregon’s economy

Responses to myths
Responses to Myths

  • Oregon uses 185% of the Federal Poverty Level – meaning more people qualify

  • In Oregon assets such as owning a car, home, money in the bank, 401K, for most households, does not affect eligibility

  • SNAP benefits expand and contract as needed - never runs out of funds

  • Seniors have paid into SNAP just like they have paid into Social Security – so not a handout

  • Using SNAP has benefited Oregon with over $1billion federal dollars brought back here


  • PHFO hired me for outreach to seniors in Washington County

  • First step was to attend the Loaves and Fishes/Senior Center meetings to inform them about SNAP and how it would benefit their seniors

  • A date was established for me to come in and set up a table

Table information
Table Information

  • DHS SNAP material for seniors

  • Other DHS material

  • Discount prescription cards

  • Medical information (vision, dental, hearing, housing)

  • Emergency food sources i.e. Oregon Food Bank

  • Community Action

  • Ride Connection

  • Washington County DAVS

  • Other like-minded organizations

What didn t work
What didn’t work?

  • Tried to give a short interactive talk about SNAP to seniors as they ate

    Why didn’t work

  • Senior’s did not want to be interrupted during their social mealtime

  • Seniors would talk loudly over me

  • Other seniors could not hear

  • Told manager I was interrupting their social time

What didn’t work?

  • Visited with each table to provide senior’s with information

    Why didn’t work

  • Seniors do not want to talk to anyone during their social/lunch time even if giving them a free item

  • Wanted to know what I was trying to sell them

What did work
What did work!

  • Giving a brief 2-minute talk mentioning the income limit to qualify along with something special that they could get at my table

  • This brought seniors who were previously reluctant to visit my table to come over and pick up informationand free item

  • Results:

    • Brought seniors up to the table and more easily ask about services

    • Eventually seniors began to look forward to my arrival and would come up to just chat

  • Seniors and people with disabilities
    Seniors and People with Disabilities

    • A partnership was developed with Hillsboro SPD

    • Intake Specialist, Connie Cruz, joined me at Washington County Senior Centers and community resource fairs

    • Connie was able to start the process for seniors receiving benefits by taking their information and faxing it to the correct office

    Other organizations
    Other Organizations

    • Spoke to like minded organizations such as:

      • Kiwanis’s

      • Rotary Club

      • Various Faith Groups

      • Washington City Councils

      • AARP


    Senior Hunger


    It’s a SNAP!

    Senior Hunger

    • Outlined the benefits of good nutrition for seniors

    • Included information about how to apply for SNAP and other benefits

    • Focused on how groups or individuals could help seniors and disabled get the nutrition they need

    It’s a SNAP!

    • Demonstrated how easy it is for a senior to find out about SNAP

    • Outlined the entire application process

    • Showed a senior shopping and enjoying the resulting benefits

    • This presentation especially good for senior centers

    Future work
    Future Work website

    • Have started reaching out to seniors in Multnomah County

    • Working with AARP to train volunteers for work at senior centers and groups

    • Working with Healthy Elders/Healthy Communities to reach faith groups

    • Working with Latino organizations to reach the Hispanic population

    • Hope to eventually reach physicians and health care workers

    Thank you
    Thank you website

    Judith Auslander, MA

    SNAP Senior Outreach Specialist

    503-595-5501 ext. 7