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Senior hunger poses unique challenges

More than 5 million senior citizens currently face hunger in our country. After a lifetime of hard work, 63% of the households with older adults (50+) that Feeding America serves find themselves facing an impossible choice — to buy groceries or medical care. And as the baby-boom generation ages, the number of seniors facing hunger is only expected to increase. Feeding America is working hard to prevent this.

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Real Story of Hunger: Meet Pat

Pat and her husband, Red, live with their daughter, Candy, in Wells, Vermont. Red has Alzheimer's disease and Pat lives with diabetes. On a limited fixed income, it can be tough to buy healthy food. Thankfully, Pat’s local food pantry gives her the nutritious fruits and vegetables she and Red need. By providing meals to seniors like Pat, the Feeding America network of food banks is helping to keep seniors healthy longer — and making it possible for our seniors to age with dignity and wellness.

Watch Pat's Story ›

As America ages, hunger pains grow

The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 53% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. In fact, the number of seniors struggling with hunger is projected to increase by another 50% when the youngest of the baby-boom generation reaches 60 in 2025. And hunger pains can be increasingly painful as we age:

  • 63% of senior households served by the Feeding America network are forced to choose between food and medical care.
  • Households served by the Feeding America network that include an adult of the age 50 or older are at an increased risk of having someone with a chronic health condition, including diabetes (41%) and high blood pressure (70%) — conditions that can be mitigated by healthy food options.
  • Only 42% of eligible seniors are enrolled and receiving SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) — making assistance programs for SNAP enrollment that much more important for seniors.

For a more in-depth look at how hunger affects seniors, download our Senior Hunger Fact Sheet ›

Helping to feed our seniors in their golden years

Feeding America is committed to helping our senior population. We serve 7 million Americans 60 or older, plus nearly 6 million more adults between the ages of 50 and 59. We design programs that take into account the health considerations, transportation needs, physical limitations and dietary restrictions of older Americans. But we can’t do this important work without you.

Give to Feeding America today

For every dollar donated, the Feeding America network of food banks secures and distribute 11 meals to people facing hunger — including seniors like Pat.

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