As the Foundation closed out 2010,
engines were revving. In 2011, we will
go full-throttle, putting pedal to the
metal on our efforts to raise national
awareness and funds for hungry
seniors, and unveiling new initiatives to
create innovative, sustainable solutions
for the problem of older adult hunger.
Soaring: The percentage of older people
struggling with hunger more than
doubled from 2006 to 2008 (from 4.7
percent to 10. 1 percent). As the population ages, the number of seniors at risk
will increase even more.
Forum Reveals Distressing
Research into the causes and consequences of senior hunger is vitally
important to pinpointing appropriate
solutions. That is why AARP Foundation
brought leading experts together for a
June 3 forum on “Poverty and Aging: The
Growing Problem of Hunger in Older
Adults.” The forum, funded by Atlantic
Philanthropies with support from
Caesar’s Foundation and the Lutheran
Services for the Elderly Endowment of
the ELCA, revealed these facts:
Surprising: The people most at risk
of going hungry are those aged 60-64.
James Ziliak, a researcher at the
University of Kentucky’s Center for
Poverty, speculated that many of these
mature adults lost jobs during the economic downturn, haven’t been able to
find work and don’t yet qualify for Social
Security, Medicare or other benefits.
Heartbreaking: Millions of people age
60+ are eligible for financial help with
buying food—but have not applied.
Two-thirds of older adults who are
eligible for the SNAP (Supplemental
Nutrition Food Assistance Program) do
not receive those benefits.
Hunger in ‘Paradise’
Jayme Koifman can barely afford
to eat. The 84-year-old resident
of Delray Beach, Florida, receives
$100 a month in food stamps, but
it is not enough. His $769 Social
Security check scarcely covers his
rent and utility bills. That is why
he never misses the free weekday
lunch offered by Palm Beach County
“It’s very, very tough to live like this,”
he said while waiting for spaghetti
and meatballs. “I’d be lost without
all this help.” Koifman’s struggle—
shared by millions of other seniors—
was featured in the AARP Bulletin’s
Florida state page in November.
Jayme Koifman, 84, of Delray Beach,
takes the bus five days a week to eat the
free lunch offered by Palm Beach County
service groups. Three million Floridians
receive food assistance each year.