Senior Hunger

More than 5 million senior citizens age 60 and older face hunger. Seniors face a number of unique medical and mobility challenges that put them at a greater risk of hunger. After a lifetime of hard work, many find themselves struggling with health issues on fixed incomes. Many of these individuals are forced to choose between paying for groceries and buying medicine.

Feeding America addresses the unique challenges of senior hunger through interventions that take into account the health status, medication needs, transportation, physical limitations and dietary restrictions of older Americans. As the proportion of people over the age of 60 continues to grow, Feeding America continues to develop innovative initiatives to get more food to more seniors in need. 

In addition to the senior population, evidence shows that older adults who are slightly younger – including those in their 50s – may be particularly vulnerable to certain health and nutrition challenges at higher rates than older seniors.

  • 7 million individuals served by Feeding America each year are seniors age 60 or older.
  • Additionally, the network also serves nearly 6 million “older adults” ages 50-59.
  • More than 33 percent of client households have at least one member who is age 60 or older. 
  • 63 percent of client households with seniors report making choices between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care.
  • Two out of five (41%) client households with an adult age 50 and older have at least one member with diabetes, and more than two-thirds (70%) of client households with an older adult have at least one member who has high blood pressure . These rates increase with age. However, among older adult clients, those who are younger report significant health challenges. Fifty-nine percent of those ages 50 to 64 described their own health as fair or poor, a higher rate than that of seniors ages 65 to 74 (53 percent) and age 75 and older (51 percent).

Learn more about the senior hunger research carried out by Feeding America.


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