Poverty, food insecurity, and hunger go hand in hand. In the face of the current economic recession, rates of hunger and food insecurity have increased significantly at the same time that financial and in-kind food contributions have been stretched.
- Poverty Rates. Currently, 9.4 percent of individuals older than 65 live in poverty in the United States. Nearly 1 million older adults — 2.5 percent of those over 65 — live in very severe poverty (with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty line) [U.S. Census, 2006].
- Food Insecurity. Five million Americans age 60 and older — more than 11 percent of all older Americans — have experienced some type of food insecurity, struggling to afford enough healthy food to meet their basic needs. Of these, about 2.5 million were at risk of food insecurity and about 750,000 suffered from hunger because of financial constraints [Ziliak, Gundersen and Haist, 2008].
- Increased Rates of Food Insecurity and Hunger. Between 2006 and 2008, the number of poor and near-poor older Americans with very low food security increased significantly, from 4.7 percent to 10.1 percent [AARP Public Policy Institute 2010]. More than 700,000 older adults faced a risk of hunger in 2007 than those that did in 2001 [Ziliak, Gundersen and Haist, 2010].
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Age Strong: An Impact Investment
Programs & Services
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the nation's oldest program to help low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work. Go