State of Senior Hunger

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 inform our senior programs and efforts to eliminate senior hunger.

 

The State of Senior Hunger in America                               
State of Senior Hunger

In May 2022, Feeding America released The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2020. 2022 marks the sixth consecutive year that Feeding America produced The State of Senior Hunger in America report series which documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population age 60 and older, as well as adults aged 50-59, at the national, state, and metro area. To produce the report series, Feeding America partnered with Dr. Craig Gundersen (Baylor University, Feeding America Technical Advisory Group (TAG) member and Principal Investigator of Map the Meal Gap) and Dr. James P. Ziliak (University of Kentucky). 

The most recent report, The State of Senior Hunger in 2020, presents 2020 data from the Current Population Survey, the most recent year for which data are available. Findings reveal that 5.2 million seniors (6.8%, or 1 in 15) were food insecure in 2020. There were no significant changes in food insecurity among seniors from 2019 to 2020 (7.1% in 2019 vs. 6.8% in 2020); however, seniors were still facing higher levels of food insecurity than before the Great Recession that started in December 2007. State-level rates of food insecurity among seniors ranged from 2.9% in North Dakota to 13.1% in the District of Columbia. The study also includes analysis of metropolitan areas, with senior food insecurity rates ranging from 2.5% in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (MN) to 13.2% in the New Orleans (LA) area.

The 2022 release also includes Hunger Among Adults Age 50-59 in 2020. Findings reveal that in 2020, 4.3 million adults aged 50-59 (10.4% or 1 in 10) were food insecure. At the state level, rates ranged from 4.2% in Maine & New Hampshire to 16.9% in Arkansas. At the metropolitan area level, rates ranged from 2.8% in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area (CO) to 17.6% in the Oklahoma City (OK) area. As the senior population continues to grow, this analysis helps reveal the challenges faced today by millions of aging adults and provides insight into the future challenges that the next generation of seniors may face.

Related Materials - 2022 release:

 

To request the State of Senior Hunger in 2020 dataset, fill out our Data Request Form

 

 

Report Archive

The State of Senior Hunger (Release 2021):

The State of Senior Hunger (Release 2020):

The State of Senior Hunger (Release 2019):

The State of Senior Hunger (Release 2018):

The 2018 release of The State of Senior Hunger (based on data from 2016) includes the following reports:

The State of Senior Hunger (Release 2017):

The 2017 release of The State of Senior Hunger (based on data from 2015) includes the following reports:

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.

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