Millions of seniors have difficulty getting the food they need

Everyone deserves to eat healthy meals. But older adults often face unique challenges that make getting the food they need harder. These problems can be related to their health, finances, and where they live.

A grandmother hugging her granddaughter.

Facts about senior hunger

Hunger is a serious problem in America, and it affects more seniors than you may think.

  • Over 5 million seniors were food insecure in 2021.

    According to the USDA, many older adults don’t have enough food for a healthy and active life.

  • Even more seniors could be food insecure if we don’t act.

    Feeding America’s research shows that more than 7 million seniors could be food insecure by 2050.

  • Seniors of color are more likely to experience hunger.

    Racism and discrimination cause seniors who identify as Black, Latino, and Native American to have higher rates of food insecurity.

  • Caring for Grandchildren Increases a seniors’ risk of hunger.

    Seniors who live with their grandchildren are more likely to have trouble purchasing food for their entire family on a limited income.

Causes of senior hunger

There are many reasons why seniors are at higher risk for hunger:

Health conditions

Seniors are more likely to have chronic health conditions that make cooking and grocery shopping difficult.

Transportation problems

Many seniors don’t have access to transportation, making it more difficult to get to grocery stores or food pantries.

Fixed income

Seniors often have limited income, making it difficult to afford food and other expenses like rent and medicine.

Social isolation

Seniors who live alone may not have family or caregivers who can help them with grocery shopping and cooking.

Effects of hunger on seniors

Older adults experiencing food insecurity can’t always get the healthy food they need. This makes them more likely to have chronic health conditions like asthma and diabetes. They may also experience mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

An elderly couple holding a food box.

How Feeding America helps

The Feeding America network of food banks helps seniors get the food they need to live a healthy, active life.

An elderly woman with a food bag.

Senior food programs

We provide food to seniors through programs like the Senior Grocery Program. In 2022, we served more than 1 million seniors facing hunger.

Learn more ›

A grandfather with his granddaughter.

SNAP application assistance

We make it easier for older adults to understand and apply for SNAP benefits with the help of local SNAP counselors. In 2022, SNAP helped 40 million people afford groceries.

Learn more ›

Photo of an elderly woman with a food bag.

Home delivery programs

We make it easier for seniors limited access to transportation to get the food they need. Food banks offer home delivery or ready-made food boxes for pickup.

Learn more ›

Help fight senior hunger!

Ensure nutritious meals reach seniors in our communities. Donate today and make a difference.