Why Are Some Seniors Food Insecure?

Studies indicate that there are a variety of reasons for food insecurity in seniors. According to a study recently published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, seniors aren’t getting enough to eat and cite depression, difficulty eating and difficulty buying groceries as the dominant reasons. This echoes a 2003 study which found that although lack of money is a major reason for food insecurity, some seniors who have the money to buy food are still food insecure due to lack of transportation, inability to prepare food, and/or medical problems.

Ideally, once the cause of food insecurity is identified, seniors can be paired with services (like those listed below) to help them regularly obtain and eat nutritious meals.

Resources to Help Seniors Stay Food Secure

Meals On Wheels
Meals On Wheels supports a national network of more than 5,000 Senior Nutrition Programs. They deliver nutritious meals that helps keep 2.5 million seniors healthy, safe and living independently in their own homes each year. Find a Meals On Wheels near you.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army serves 60 million meals to anyone in need through its many soup kitchens, sit-down meal programs, food pantries, mobile meals and community gardens. Contact your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center for information on specific programs and locations.

Mom’s Meals
Mom’s Meals is a leading national provider of fresh-made, home-delivered meals and nutrition services for individuals desiring convenience or independent living and for patients recuperating at home or managing a chronic disease. For more information on Mom’s Meals visit www.momsmeals.com or call 1-877-508-6667.

Local Food banks & Food Pantries
In most communities, food banks and food pantries distribute food to those who need it. Feeding America’s Food Bank Locator and FoodPantries.org are a good start to finding pantries, soup kitchens, food shelves, and food banks in your area.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps millions of seniors supplement the cost of nutritious food. There are an estimated 5.2 million seniors eligible for SNAP who aren’t enrolled. Go to www.benefitscheckup.org/getsnap/ for more information and to see if you’re eligible.

Dial 2-1-1
Call 2-1-1 for information and referrals to local health, human and social service organizations such as food banks, adult day care & recreation centers, medical services, transportation providers, and much more. Check here to learn more about your local 2-1-1.

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