Senior Hunger: A Growing Problem Hiding in Our Community
Durham Senior Hunger Awareness Week public information campaign coordinator
September 29, 2019
FACTS ABOUT SENIOR HUNGER
OF THE 60,000 DURHAM COUNTY RESIDENTS AGE 60 AND OLDER, ABOUT 12,600 ARE AT RISK OF FOOD INSECURITY BASED ON INCOME LEVEL.
NORTH CAROLINA'S SENIOR HUNGER RATE IS AMONG THE NATION'S WORST
1 in every 5 NC seniors over age 65 are at risk, compared to the national average of 1 in 6.
Low income is the main risk factor behind senior hunger. Other causes include:
- Lack of adequate transportation
- Mobility limitations
- Living in a food desert
- Lack of social contact
- Inadequate services and funding
Senior food insecurity may increase national healthcare costs by as much as 300%. The AARP estimates an annual national healthcare cost of $130.5 billion due to senior food insecurity.
Food insecure seniors are more likely to enter health care facilities, convalescent homes, or some form of assisted living. Or they may be forced to move in with relatives and receive inadequate care.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
DONATE your time and/or money to:
- Meals on Wheels Durham providing home delivered meals to homebound seniors. Visit: mowdurham.org.
- Durham Center for Senior Life EATS program, providing a food pantry, food delivery, or rides to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Call Alicia Allen-Gant at (919) 688-8247 Ext.103.
- End Hunger Durham, working to educate, advocate and organize for an end to hunger with a focus on older adults. Learn more at endhungerdurham.org.
ADVOCATE for adequately funded programs for seniors. Contact your representatives. Ask “What are you doing to address senior hunger?” Ask Congress to support the Closing the Meal Gap bill. See endhungerdurham.org/action-groups/policy.
EDUCATE Learn more about senior hunger from the Food Research & Action Center; visit https://frac.org/hunger-poverty-america/senior-hunger. Share what you learn with your friends and neighbors so senior hunger is no longer a hidden problem.