CHICAGO, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, issued a call today in honor of Older Americans Month. More than 1 in 12 older Americans are facing hunger in the United States.
The Baby Boomer generation continues to age at a rapid rate. Every day for the next 15 years, 10,000 people will turn 65, according to the Social Security Administration. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is preparing for an increase in the need for food assistance among older Americans. This dramatic rise has sparked Feeding America to actively encourage industry partners, federal and local governments, and the general public to speak up to Solve Senior Hunger.
"No one deserves to be hungry," said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. "We must meet this future demand and continue to invest in ways that protect older adults from impossible decisions, such as choosing between food and medical care."
According to a recent Feeding America report, Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After Fifty, many older adults who are food insecure must make tough choices about how to spend their meager dollars. More than 63 percent of older adult households served by the Feeding America network must sometimes choose between paying for food or paying for medical care or prescriptions. Sixty percent report having to choose between paying for utilities or paying for food, and 58 percent must choose between food and transportation. It is essential for older adults to have access to adequate amounts of nutritious food because of the unique health challenges they may face.
The Feeding America network provides more than 563 million meals to seniors age 60 and above through special programs including the Senior Grocery Program, Mobile Pantry Program, Senior Cafes, multi-generational meal and food programs, and partner programs that focus on feeding seniors who are homebound.
Programs like these can help ensure that seniors can age healthily in their own homes, but charity alone cannot solve senior hunger. This Older Americans Month, Feeding America is urging everyone to get involved in raising awareness of senior hunger in three key ways:
- Share Feeding America's stories of senior hunger on social media, or post stories of senior hunger in your community online with #SolveSeniorHunger.
- Help close the "Senior SNAP Gap" by sharing available Feeding America infographics on social media. Only 41 percent of seniors who are eligible for SNAP benefits are currently enrolled in the program.
- Contact your members of Congress to draw awareness to the issue of senior hunger using Feeding America's online messaging tool and other resources that are available at FeedingAmerica.org/SolveSeniorHunger.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.
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SOURCE Feeding America