1010 B Street,
February 20, 2019
Nearly 5 million American seniors cannot regularly go out and get the nutritious food they need to eat in order to stay active and healthy. This may have to do with a lack of money, a lack of access, or even, a lack of awareness. This problem is called “food insecurity,” and it is no small social issue. Nor is it one only poor seniors face. A report by nonprofit food bank network Feeding America estimates that 20% of older adults who are above the poverty line risk eating inadequately as well.
If poverty alone caused food insecurity, a social remedy might be fairly simple. Other factors come into play, though: high health care costs that crimp senior household budgets, prioritizing caregiving duties at the expense of sself-care and simple pride that makes older adults shun food assistance programs in their communities. As Next Avenue reports, only about 45% of seniors eligible for SNAP benefits choose to receive them. The U.S. Administration for Community Living and private-sector agencies have awarded several million in grants to nonprofits in urban centers and rural areas to address this problem. If you think a friend, neighbor, or loved one might be coping with food insecurity, contact the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116.3