May 15, 2014

Hunger Among Seniors on the Rise

Washington, D.C. – A Bread for the World analysis released today indicates that hunger among senior Americans is on the rise. However, federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) have helped slow the increase in hunger among this age group.                                                  

“Our grandparents who worked hard all their lives now have to choose between eating or purchasing their medication,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This is a choice no one, especially the elderly, should have to make in a country as rich as ours.”

Seniors - adults age 65 and older - make up 12.9 percent of the U.S. population. The analysis, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Hunger by the Numbers Among Older Americans,” indicates that 3.9 million seniors live below the poverty line.

The amount of seniors experiencing hunger increased by 88 percent between 2001 and 2011. Programs like SNAP and Meals on Wheels have helped curb this rise. However, if trends continue, the hungry elderly will increase by 50 percent.

Unfortunately, cuts to safety net programs like SNAP as well as the stigma attached to these programs have prevented some seniors from receiving the support they need.

“We must protect these vital programs and erase the stigma that prevents many seniors from applying for these programs,” said Beckmann. “These programs are a ‘hand-up,’ not a handout.” Bread’s analysis, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Hunger by the Numbers Among Older Americans” coincides with the observance of Older Americans Month in the United States. 

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

     Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict. 

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

For Advocacy

Faith

African at Heart

November 22, 2019

Insight

The Africa they want

February 21, 2020

From the Blog