Nearly 10 million older adults are at risk of hunger. In New York census data reports that over 1.3 million adults age 55+ have incomes less than 200 percent of poverty, and over 500,000 have incomes less than 100 percent of poverty. According to the 2014 report by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, New York ranks 4th with the Percent of Seniors Facing the Threat of Hunger.
Furthermore, The New York City Department for the Aging estimates that one out of four New Yorkers age 60+ living at home are considered at nutritional risk. Who is at most risk for being food‐insecure?
- Older adults age 60‐64;
- living with grandchildren and providing kin care;
- living at or below the poverty level;
- undereducated (i.e., less than a high school education);
- African‐American or Hispanic;
- divorced or separated and;
People are living longer today then ever before, and with higher life expectancy comes increased medical costs and financial strains. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, the number of older adults is projected to increase over the next decade and continue to rise in the following decade.
The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research found the following:
- Significantly more likely to have lower intakes of energy and major vitamins. This holds across all the nutrient intake measures we considered. The effects are very strong. For example, across all the measures, the effect of being marginally food insecure is over twice as large (and generally much larger) than a move in income from one-to-two times the poverty line.
- Significantly more likely to be in poor or fair health. In comparisons of excellent or very good health versus good, fair, or poor health and comparisons of excellent, very good, or good health versus fair or poor health, we find a strong effect of marginal food insecurity. For sake of comparison, being marginally food insecure is similar to not having graduated from high school.
- More likely to have limitations in activities of daily living (ADL). Marginally food insecure are much more likely than fully food secure seniors to have ADL limitations. The effects are again strong – being marginally food insecure is roughly equivalent to being 14 years older.