The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 53% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. In fact, the number of seniors struggling with hunger is projected to increase by another 50% when the youngest of the baby-boom generation reaches 60 in 2025. 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 include 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 42% of eligible seniors are enrolled and receiving SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) — making assistance programs for SNAP enrollment that much more important for seniors.
HEALTH AND HOUSEHOLD INFORMATION OF PEOPLE FEEDING AMERICA SERVES
More than 33% of households Feeding America serves have at least one member who is 60 or older.
Food-insecure seniors are at increased risk for chronic health conditions, even when controlling for other factors such as income
60% are more likely to experience depression
53% are more likely to report a heart attack
52% are more likely to develop asthma
40% are more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure.
Two out of five (41%) households we serve with an adult age 50 and older have at least one member with diabetes, and more than two-thirds (77%) of the households we serve with an older adult have at least one member who has high blood pressure. These rates increase with age.
Thirty percent of households Feeding America serves with at least one senior report having a member who has served in the U.S. military. This number is slightly lower (approximately 27%) when including households with a member(s) age 50 and older.
FEEDING AMERICA SENIOR MEAL PROGRAMS
Twelve percent of meal programs, such as home-delivered meal programs, and 7% of grocery programs, such as senior brown bag programs, are targeted for seniors.
POVERTY AMONG SENIORS
In 2016, 9% of seniors (4.6 million older adults age 65 and older) lived below the poverty line.10
In 2016, under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, 14.5% of seniors are living in poverty as compared with 9% under the official measure.11
In 2016, under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, medical out-of-pocket expenses (MOOP) increase the poverty rate among seniors (9% excluding MOOP, 14.5% including).