In 2011 almost 50.1 million Americans (up from 48.8 million in 2010) lived in food-insecure households, i.e. households that were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all household members because they had insufficient money and other resources for food.
- Nearly 9 million adults 50 and older face the risk of hunger.
- From 2007 to 2009, food insecurity rose 63 percent for 40- to 49-year-olds, 37 percent for those 50-59, and 26 percent for those 60 and older.
- Food insecurity is particularly pronounced in the Southern states, among African Americans and Hispanics, those who didn't graduate from high school, those never married and renters.
- Food-insecure adults ages 50-59 are almost twice as likely to be diabetic, are far less likely to be in excellent or very good health and are more than five times more likely to suffer from depression.
Among the causes of food insecurity are a lack of monetary resources, the high cost of some food products, limited availability of commercially sold food (i.e., food deserts) and a limited availability of nutritious food that is prepared well, tastes good and is culturally acceptable and desirable. In addition, many older people have difficulty buying food because of limited physical mobility, poor transportation networks and limited access to social networks to help with food purchasing.
The foundation wishes to encourage long-term, self-sustaining solutions that prevent food insecurity or that reduce an older (50+) adult's vulnerability to food insecurity in a significant way.