The State of Senior Hunger in America report series documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population age 60 and older in the United States. It examines the demographics and characteristics of seniors who lack access to enough nutritious food and identifies geographic variation in food insecurity among seniors, providing rates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Specifically, in The State of Senior Hunger in America 2016 (released May 2018), we found that:
- 4.9 million seniors (7.7% of the senior population) were food insecure in 2016, and an additional 3.7 million seniors experienced marginal food security.
- Overall, the rate and number of food-insecure seniors declined between 2014 and 2016 (the change from 2015 to 2016 was statistically insignificant). However, the current rate of food insecurity among seniors remains substantially above the rate in 2007 (6.3%), and the current number of seniors who are food insecure is still more than double the number in 2001 (2.3 million).
As part of the 2017 release, a report about health implications for food-insecure seniors was produced, entitled The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2014 NHANES. That report found that:
- Food-insecure seniors consumed fewer calories and lower quantities of key nutrients than food-secure seniors.
- Among seniors, food insecurity was found to be associated with negative health conditions such as depression, asthma, and high blood pressure.
The State of Senior Hunger in America was produced by Feeding America and jointly released with the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). The research was conducted by Dr. Craig Gundersen and Dr. James Ziliak using data from the Current Population Survey.
Read the infographic about senior hunger (PDF).
Read the full report: The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2016: An Annual Report (PDF).
Read the reports from 2017 (2015 data):
Executive Summary (PDF).