Hunger and food insecurity for seniors is more widespread than most people think.
For more details see the article, “The Facts Behind Senior Hunger.”
Among the older adult population there are various issues around hunger. Since about 1 in 6 seniors in America face the threat of hunger and the number of seniors facing hunger increased by 65% between 2007 to 2014 it is an important issue to think about.
The National Aging in Place Council has an excellent resource that provides a broad view of the many factors that affect hunger in seniors in the United States. It details some of the risk factors that can lead to hunger as well as the effects of hunger on seniors.
Food insecurity, one part of the hunger picture, is when people do not have access to either any food or to high quality nutritious food.
There are many factors at play that increase the likelihood of food insecurity for seniors such as:
- Location: People who live more than one mile from a grocery store and do not have a car are more likely to be food insecure.
- Class: While many seniors experiencing food insecurity live below fifty percent of the poverty line, fifty percent of seniors at risk for food insecurity live above the poverty line.
- Race: African-American and Hispanic seniors are two to two and a half times more likely to be food insecure.
- Living Situation: Seniors who live alone are two times more likely to be food insecure.
- Age: Older adults below the age of 70 are more likely to be food insecure.
- Education: Older adults with only a high school education or less are more likely to be food insecure.
Food insecurity and hunger is especially problematic for older adults because it can increase the likelihood of a variety of health issues such as:
- Heart disease
- Limited activities of daily living
Jewish Family Services is one of many agencies working to serve seniors facing food insecurity. For more information about our Food Pantry visit: www.jfskc.org/food-pantry/. Contact our main number for specific information at 913-327-8250.