Our research on food insecurity among seniors aims to identify the prevalence of senior hunger and to understand seniors' unique needs, characteristics, and risk factors. The research studies highlighted on this page are used to inform our programs and efforts to eliminate senior hunger.
The State of Senior Hunger in America
The State of Senior Hunger in America annual report series documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population age 60 and older in the United States. It identifies the geographic variation in food insecurity among seniors, providing data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The most recent report, released in 2018 using 2016 data, found that 4.9 million seniors, or 7.7% of the senior population, were food insecure in 2016. The rate of food insecurity among seniors has declined in recent years but remains significantly higher than it was in 2007. The current number of seniors who are food insecure is more than double what it was in 2001.
This research was conducted by Dr. Craig Gundersen and Dr. James Ziliak using data from the Current Population Survey, and the report was produced by Feeding America and jointly released with the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger.
The 2017 release of The State of Senior Hunger (based on data from 2015) include the following reports:
- The State of Senior Hunger in 2015 - full report
- The State of Senior Hunger in 2015 - full report supplement
- The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2014 NHANES - A report about health implications for food-insecure seniors
- The State of Senior Hunger in 2015 - Executive Summary
Spotlight on Senior Health (Release: 2014)
Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans used data from the NHANES survey to document the health and nutrition implications of food insecurity among seniors aged 60 and older.
Spotlight on Senior Hunger (Release: 2013)
Spotlight on Senior Hunger (using 2011 data) used Current Population Survey data to identify national and state-level trends in senior food insecurity, exploring some determinants of senior food insecurity, including race/ethnicity, age, income, and living with a disability.