The Time Is Now – Speak Up About Senior Hunger

May 1, 2014

Will Thomas, Public Policy & Research Associate, Meals on Wheels Association of America

This May marks the 51st annual Older Americans Month, a celebration established to recognize seniors for their valuable contributions and provide information to help them stay healthy and active. This national observance also creates an important opportunity for our partners in the fight against hunger to help us raise awareness about the often hidden problem of senior hunger in America. Today, 8.8 million seniors — or nearly 1 in 6 — may not know where their next meal is coming from.

Given that Congress is in the midst of the FY 2015 appropriations debate, which will determine the level of federal funding for several nutrition programs specifically designed for seniors, now is the time to speak up for increased investments. These programs include Older Americans Act nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels, the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

By ensuring that our seniors have access to programs like Meals on Wheels and/or can afford the nutritious foods they need to remain healthier and independent in their own, we can reduce the burden of medical costs that all taxpayers pay. As a nation, we can either choose to invest a little in proper nutrition for our seniors now, or be required to spend a lot more on the negative consequences that will develop in Medicare and Medicaid spending later.

For more information on how you can spread these important messages, visit these Older Americans Month Resources and Materials:

Older Americans Month information from the Administration for Community Living
Meals On Wheels Association of America Take Action Tip Sheet
Feeding America’s Older Americans Month #SolveSeniorHunger campaign