This article examines the role of two successful grassroots women's organizations in empowering women in old age in Lima, Peru. These organizations include Comedores Populares (soup kitchens) and the Vaso de Leche (glass of milk) Program. The primary goal of both groups is poverty alleviation, specifically through improved nutrition. Through them, women have lobbied on issues such as provision of education and health services, and campaigned against the guerrilla insurgency of the 1980s and the early 1990s. However, evidence from three low-income settlements on the outskirts of Lima implied that no long-term support is available from these organizations to promote the welfare of elderly people. Also, the contribution that elderly members of households make to the work of the organizations is invisible and undervalued. Thus, these findings clearly suggest that even the most successful New Social Movements in Lima are also passive members of society in need of charity.