CHICAGO, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, currently provides food to more than three million seniors each year, many of whom live on low, fixed incomes. The charity faces tremendous challenges in the near future, as the number of seniors age 65 and above is projected to increase by 35 percent in the next ten years.
"May is Older Americans Month and Feeding America is making every effort to help the nearly five million seniors in our country who are food insecure," said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. "While hunger certainly affects all age groups, we know that food insecurity is particularly detrimental to seniors because of their unique nutritional needs related to aging and medical conditions."
A recently released research project, Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans, finds that food insecure seniors are more likely than those who are food secure to have lower nutrient intake and to be at a higher risk for chronic health conditions and depression.
The study—released jointly by Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH)—also reveals that food insecurity is associated with a number of diseases and other negative health consequences.
When compared to food secure seniors, food insecure seniors are
- 60 percent more likely to experience depression;
- 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack;
- 52 percent more likely to develop asthma; and
- 40 percent more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure.
About 30 percent of the seniors who rely on their local Feeding America-affiliated food pantries for help have had to choose between spending money on food and paying for medical care.
We encourage everyone to visit FeedingAmerica.org/OlderAmericans to get involved this May for Older Americans Month. The three ways to support solving senior hunger are
Urge Congress to support funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) in FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations.
Call the toll-free hotline at 888-398-8702 or visit the FA website. Support $209 million in funding for current caseloads and $5 million to expand the program to six additional states.
Ask your member of Congress to visit your food bank's senior program.
Site visits help put a face on senior hunger and shed light on important federal programs that serve seniors that can help legislators better understand the impact of their decisions in Washington.
Help increase awareness for the issue and join Feeding America's social media campaign for Older Americans Month, #SolveSeniorHunger.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, community kitchens, and emergency shelters across 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.
SOURCE Feeding America