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.”