Rooftops Newsletter: Hunger and Local Health Data: Putting the Two Together

Clubs and Organizations

December 16, 2016

Finding Solutions to Senior Hunger In the Face of Growing Need and Shrinking Resources

For nearly a decade now the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has been commissioning and disseminating independent academic research on the causes, consequences and, regrettably, the constant growth of senior hunger in the United States. Our first such report, published in 2008, was in fact entitled “The Cause, Consequences and Future of Senior Hunger in America.”   We were proud that our Foundation was first to sponsor a comprehensive national look at the problem, even as we noted that the fact that ours was first spoke to a regrettable situation. It was evidence that not enough attention (if any) was being paid to a serious – and we believed solvable – national problem. At the same time, we hoped that once focus could be directed there, the “future” of senior hunger would be different from the past.

It is different, but not in the manner we hoped. Our objective, of course, was to spur action to reduce and ultimately eliminate hunger. That remains our goal. We are firmly dedicated to that end.  But the numbers are not encouraging. The ranks of seniors threatened by hunger have increased from 11.4 percent of the older population in 2005 to 15.5 percent in 2014. That latter percentage translates to 10.2 million individuals.

Readers who are familiar with our annual senior hunger updates might rightfully ask what is new about those facts.  The question is a valid one, because those facts do not present a new picture. But they do propel us to seek new solutions, or strategies that combined can lead to a solution.  Read More...