Senior Citizen Politics
One in 9 Senior Citizens Going Hungry Says Report to Senate Aging Committee
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) says 35 million Americans going hungry, senior citizens are ‘disproportionately affected’
March 10, 2008 – One out of every nine senior citizens in America is going hungry, according to testimony last week at a hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which was called by the ranking member, Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR). Smith said 35 million Americans are going hungry and senior citizens are “disproportionately affected.”
A major reason for the hearing was to showcase the release of findings by the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) Foundation, which quantifies the problems and causes of hunger that seniors face and how these trends will continue into the future as our society ages.
“Hunger is a disease that is affecting our country, but unlike other diseases we have a cure for hunger today. Because of Senator Smith's leadership on this issue, we now have a national forum to present these findings,” said Enid Borden, President and CEO of MOWAA.
Key findings included:
● In 2005, over five million seniors, 11.4% of all seniors, experienced some form of food insecurity (i.e., are marginally food insecure).
>> Of these, about 2.5 million are at-risk of hunger (i.e. are food insecure), and about 750,000 actually experienced hunger (i.e., very low food security) due to financial constraints.
● Seniors are more likely to be at-risk of hunger if they are ages 60 to 65, poor, African-American or Hispanic, divorced or separated, living with a grandchild and/or renters.
● In 2025, an estimated 9.3 million senior Americans will experience some form of food insecurity, almost double the number in 2005.
Link to HHS Report - PDF