Many Seniors at Risk for Hunger

31 January 2013 Categories: Latest News

Nearly 9 million older adults are at risk of hunger — but the depth of senior hunger in America is not widely understood. Why?
First, this is a problem often hiding right in front of us. Older adults who are hungry don’t walk around with a big red H on their shirts. Many are too embarrassed or too proud to ask for help — or even to acknowledge that they need it.
Second, many people underestimate the day-to-day struggles of those who are age 65 and over, their struggles to make ends meet and have a decent quality of life. It’s easy to imagine that Social Security and Medicare provide sufficient protection against a problem as basic as hunger. Yet the average Social Security benefit is just over $1,200 a month — and a majority of seniors today rely on Social Security as their largest source of income.
Third, for all the attention on the severe economic downturn that hit our country, we don’t always appreciate how tough conditions have been for older workers. The problem of senior hunger in America has deepened as the status of older adults in the job market has worsened: The unemployment rate for Americans 50-plus has doubled in just the past four years — and people 55-plus who lose their jobs are out of work for an average of an entire year.
In just two years, from 2007 to 2009, there was an increase of almost 40 percent in the number of Americans ages 50-59 at risk of hunger.
Widespread economic suffering has changed the face of hunger in America. It ought to change our thinking about hunger as well.*
At Appanoose Community Care Services we strive to help people understand senior hunger issues and let everyone know that a nutritious meal is available to Centerville residents through our Meals on Wheels program. If you know of anyone, or you yourself need a nutritious meal delivered to you, please contact our office and we will be glad to help in any way we can. Call Appanoose Community Care Services at (641) 437-3474.