BDT and AARP Foundation partner to address hunger among America’s seniors

BDT is selected to receive funds to help older adults access SNAP

Philadelphia, October 25, 2018Benefits Data Trust (BDT) received a $100,000 grant from Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP), a federal waiver available under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). This critical policy change makes it easier for low-income older adults to get SNAP benefits and increases their access to nutritious food.

“Seniors who are food insecure are 50 percent more likely to have diabetes, 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or a heart attack, and three times more likely to suffer from depression,” said Emily Allen, AARP Foundation’s senior vice president of programs. “This collaboration with BDT will help tens of thousands of seniors put more — and healthier — food on their tables.”

Food insecurity results in significant consequences not only for the quality of life of those affected, but also for the nation’s health care systems. Hunger creates or exacerbates numerous health conditions, leading to an estimated $160 billion per year in avoidable health care costs among all ages.

“This partnership will allow us to collectively put more food on the table for tens of thousands of additional people who need it most,” said Ginger Zielinskie, president & CEO of BDT. “We also know that SNAP can help bend the healthcare spending curve. Research shows that targeted SNAP outreach and enrollment assistance reduces annual health care costs by more than $2,100 per senior.”

BDT helped Maryland and Pennsylvania secure a federal waiver to implement ESAP, increasing senior SNAP participation and creating administrative efficiencies for state agencies.

About Benefits Data Trust

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national nonprofit that helps people live healthier, more independent lives by creating smarter ways to access essential benefits and services. Each year, BDT helps tens of thousands of people receive critical supports using data, technology, targeted outreach, and policy change. Since inception in 2005, BDT has submitted over 800,000 applications – more than any other single entity in the country – securing over $7 billion in benefits and services. BDT employs more than 170 people and provides enrollment assistance to individuals in six states, and policy assistance to states nationwide. For more information, visit

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Bolstered by vigorous legal advocacy, we spark bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope.

To learn more about AARP Foundation visit