Hyattsville Aging in Place delivers food, wins award
BY SOPHIE GORMAN ORIANI
On April 18, Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) won a first annual Founders Award For Village Excellence from the Washington Area Villages Exchange (WAVE). The award recognized HAP’s Route 1 Food Security Project, which combats food insecurity among seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WAVE helps to connect and provide resources for 74 D.C.-area villages, grassroots organizations which coordinate volunteer help for seniors. HAP was one of two organizations to receive founders awards, winning for villages with budgets under $25,000. Little Falls Village in Bethesda won for villages with budgets of $25,000 or more, in recognition of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
HAP, founded in 2011, is focused on helping Hyattsville seniors stay in their homes as they age. HAP offers loaner medical equipment, rides to stores and doctors’ appointments, social events and help with finding resources, among other volunteer services.
The food security program, for which HAP was recognized, is a newer program entering its second year. Last year, HAP provided over 1,400 prepared meals and 700 boxes of produce to Hyattsville area seniors, as well as stocking local Little Free Food Pantries and delivering groceries. HAP partnered with the Central Kenilworth Area Revitalization Community Development Corporation, food pantries, restaurants, farmers markets and Meals on Wheels to deliver food to those in need.
The Greater Washington Community Foundation and the City of Hyattsville provided funding for this program; the WAVE award comes with an additional $1,000 grant.
HAP Treasurer Lisa Walker said HAP is always in need of help, both financial and volunteer. As grants come and go, they scale back or expand programs based on need and the availability of resources. Currently, HAP doesn’t have the funding to continue providing as much food delivery, so they are focusing on delivering fresh vegetables from the Riverdale Park Farmers Market.
Walker noted that HAP has no central office and is both run and staffed by volunteers. Most of HAP’s funding comes from one-off or recurring monthly donations. “We rely on the community to support us,” she said.
Want to help? Send a donation to HAP, P.O. Box 113, Hyattsville, MD 20781, or go to hyattsvilleaginginplace.org to donate or sign up to volunteer. Need help? Call 301.887.3101, email HAPCares@gmail.com or go to hyattsvilleaginginplace.org.