As America ages, hunger pains grow
The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 40% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050. 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 includes 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 48% of eligible seniors are enrolled and receiving SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) — making assistance programs for SNAP enrollment that much more important for seniors.