Older Adult Food-Insecurity Levels at Highest in American History

Feeding America® Urges Nation to Help Solve Senior Hunger

May 1, 2017

This May, Feeding America is urging everyone to join in the movement to solve senior hunger. More than seven million adults age 65 and older currently seek food assistance from the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks.

Throughout Older Americans Month, Feeding America will highlight real stories of seniors to unveil what hunger really looks like for aging adults. The #SolveSeniorHunger initiative will encourage the public to share their own stories under the hashtag and contact their local legislators to advocate for strong senior nutrition programs.

In the United States, seniors are the fastest growing food-insecure population. Currently, one in 11 seniors face hunger. Over the next decade, the number of seniors struggling with hunger is projected to double. This wave of aging in America, often referred to as the “silver tsunami,” has already created strains throughout the Feeding America network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs across the country.

“Senior hunger is not an issue our country can ignore,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “It is tragic that the costs of rent, groceries and medical care have forced millions of older adults to make impossible choices, skip meals and forgo necessary medications; this reality will only get worse if we don’t step in with significant support. For far too many, golden years have become, an unending nightmare.”

More than 60 percent of older adult households served by Feeding America report having to make the tradeoff between food and medical care or prescriptions; 60 percent between food and utilities; 58 percent between food and transportation; and 49 percent between food and housing.

As the leading provider of food assistance to seniors in the United States, Feeding America has made its largest investment to date in the development of senior hunger relief strategies and programs. The investment is made possible by funding from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation’s Fill Your Tank program. Feeding America is designating $12 million of the Enterprise donation to senior hunger innovation and food assistance through the Feeding America network over the next six years.

“Food insecurity is an issue in the thousands of towns and neighborhoods where we do business, and as seniors are the fastest growing food-insecure population in the United States, it is important that there are programs which address the specific needs of older adults,” said Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation Vice President and Executive Director Carolyn Kindle Betz. “Our employees have long supported hunger relief efforts in the cities and neighborhoods we serve. Our support of Feeding America through the Fill Your Tank program, an investment to address food insecurity around the globe, is a natural extension of the good work our employees are already doing.”

The Feeding America network currently provides more than 563 million meals to seniors age 60 and older each year. The meals are provided through special programs including the Senior Grocery Program, Mobile Pantry Program, Senior Cafes, multi-generational meal and food programs and partner programs that focus on feeding seniors who have restricted mobility.

Programs like these help ensure that seniors can age happily and healthfully in their homes and communities, but charity alone cannot solve senior hunger. This Older Americans Month, Feeding America is urging the nation to get involved in raising awareness of this growing issue. For more information about senior hunger and to find ways you can help elevate the issue and affect change, visit FeedingAmerica.org/SolveSeniorHunger.


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About Feeding America

Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

 

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