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Hunger Among Older Americans Spikes

Report finds 1 in 11 Americans age 50 and over at risk of hunger

The Gunderson-Ziliak research found other disturbing trends:

  • The risk of hunger for African Americans and Hispanics age 50-59 was twice that of whites over the years studied.
  • Hunger risk is notably higher among those residing in the South:

The top 10 states with the highest rates of food insecurity among those 50-59 are Mississippi (13.79%); New Mexico (12.37 %); Arizona (12.08%); Texas (11.33%); South Carolina (11.27%); Alabama (11.07 percent); North Carolina (10.75%); Oregon (10.57%); Missouri (10.56%); and Ohio (10.41%).

Among people age 60-plus, the 10 states with the highest rate of food insecurity are Mississippi (12.45%); New Mexico (10.01%); Texas (9.67%); South Carolina (9.66%); Arkansas (9.61%); Georgia (8.74%); Louisiana (8.32%); Alabama (8.03%); Tennessee (7.97%) and Oklahoma (6.66%).

  • People age 50-59 who are at risk of hunger are 10 percent more likely to be disabled than people in the 40-49 or the 60-plus groups.

AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger campaign is a national, multifaceted effort to raise awareness about older adult hunger in America and help raise funds to end it. Through Drive to End Hunger, AARP Foundation has donated more than 3 million meals in 2011 to Feeding America food banks across the country. The Foundation also recently announced a grant making program to fund innovative solutions to the problem of hunger among people age 50-plus.

 “This report underscores the urgency of our work and the efforts of organizations like Meals On Wheels,” said Jenkins. “No one in this country – of any age – should go hungry.  With compassion and collaboration, we can solve this problem.”

For more information about hunger among older Americans, please visit the Drive to End Hunger website. Learn more about AARP Foundation’s Hunger Innovation Grants Program.

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