Senior Hunger Facts
More than 5 million senior citizens age 60 and older face hunger. Seniors face a number of unique medical and mobility challenges that put them at a greater risk of hunger.
After a lifetime of hard work, many find themselves struggling with health issues on fixed incomes. Many of these individuals are forced to choose between paying for groceries and buying medicine.
The number of older adults is projected to increase over the next decade and continue to rise in the following decade. In 2040 there will be 79.7 million older adults, more than twice as many as in 2000.
Additionally, the senior population is becoming increasingly diverse. Between 2012 and 2030, the white population of 65 and plus is projected to increase by 54% compared with 125% for older minorities. (N)
These changing demographics will have profound impacts on the demand for social services, especially the need for adequate and culturally appropriate nutrition services.
Seniors may have unique nutritional needs and challenges that separate them from the rest of the population and must be considered.
Here are more important facts with regard to senior hunger:
More than 5 million senior citizens age 60 and older face hunger. (N)
In 2014, 3 million (9%) households with seniors age 65 and older experienced food insecurity. (L)
In 2014, 1.2 million (9%) households composed of seniors living alone experienced food insecurity. (L)
In 2013, 5.4 million Americans over the age of 60 were food insecure. (M)
Food insecure seniors are at increased risk for chronic health conditions. (M)
The number of food insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50% by the year 2025. (M)
L. Wolfe WS, Frongillo EA, Valois, P. (2003). Understanding the experience of food insecurity by elders suggests ways to improve its measurement. J. Nutr. 133:2762-2769, 2003.
M. Ziliak, J.P. & Gundersen, C. (2015). State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report. Prepared for the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH).
N. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging. (2012). A profile of older Americans: 2012.