Seniors

Second Round Research Study Competition

UKCPR, with underwriting from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has launched a second round of research contract competitions to extend our understanding food-related hardships among older persons in the United States and explore policy options to combat food insecurity among Americans aged 60 and older.

We seek research proposals from qualified individuals and institutions to provide rigorous research in one of three topical domains: 1) Describing households with food insecure seniors, including, but not limited to, factors such as functional status and ability to live independently, access to transportation, mental function, spousal health status, and social network and family connections; 2) Understanding factors underlying participation and recertification in food assistance and other safety net programs; and 3) Evaluating the causal impact of food and non-food assistance programs on health and nutrition outcomes, as well as related outcomes such as consumption trade-offs. Total anticipated funding under this mechanism is $1.2 million of four large subcontracts at $250,000 each and four small subcontracts at $50,000 each.

We request a letter of intent to submit a proposal by Dec. 10, 2019. Full proposals are due Jan. 14, 2020, with award dates on or about Feb. 25, 2020. Consult the RFP for submission details. View the full RFP.

The impetus for this new research initative is recognition that Increasing numbers of seniors in the United States are going without enough food due to economic constraints, and this has not abated in recent years even in the midst of an improving economy and financial markets. Begininng with the pathbreaking 2008 study, The Causes, Consequences, and Future of Senior Hunger in America, UKCPR Director James Ziliak and Craig Gundersen of University of Illinois, have conducted a series of studies with the support of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH), Feeding America, AARP Foundation, Merck Foundation, and the Meals On Wheels Association of America. As reported in the recent "The State of Senior Hunger in America 2016: An Annual Report," in 2016 13.6% of persons age 60 and older were marginally food insecure, 7.7% were food insecure, and 2.9% were very low food secure, which translates into 8.6 million, 4.9 million, and 1.8 million seniors, respectively. As depicted in the figure, this is an increase of 45% since 2001 in the fraction food insecure, and a doubling of those classified as very low food secure.

 

Following are summaries of projects funded in the first round.

Large Research Subcontracts

Grutzmacher, Stephanie (PI), Edwards, Mark. Oregon State University. Examining Experiences of Food Hardships and SNAP Enrollment among Young-Old and Older Americans: A Multi-Method Approach
The research will use longitudinal administrative data, in-depth qualitative interviewing, and participant observation to understand program participation and describe households with food insecure seniors. These analyses will enable the careful description of patterns of SNAP under-enrollment, food insecurity risk, resilience factors, and contextual characteristics of food insecure seniors. The project will, 1) use SNAP administrative data to estimate age-specific patterns of SNAP use among people progressing through older age, 2) evaluate competing explanations for senior under-enrollment in SNAP by combining administrative data analysis and in-depth qualitative methods, and 3) explore the lived experiences of food hardship among older adults using in-depth qualitative methods. Study objectives include, 1) a systematic description and evaluation of competing explanations for under-enrollment and appraisal of their relative validity, 2) articulation of within-group differences across the later life course, and 3) identification of other relevant personal and contextual factors that influence both SNAP enrollment and resilience/vulnerability to food hardships. The research will result in policy and program implementation recommendations for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), for state agencies that administer SNAP and SNAP-Ed, and local private and public agencies serving the needs of older adults. Results will also inform theory about vulnerability to material hardship, the process of aging in hardship, and the importance of context in understanding safety net program usage.

Lee, Jung Sun (PI); Bhargava, Vibha; Smith, Travis; Walker, Temitope. University of Georgia. The Impact of Nutrition Assistance Programs on Food Insecurity, Food Acquisition, and Health Outcomes among Older Adults
The proposed research will examine, 1) temporal and spatial usage patterns of assistance programs and health care among older adults, and 2) the effect of nutrition assistance program participation (SNAP, OAA, and dual participation) on food insecurity, food acquisition (quantity and quality), and health outcomes in older adults. Researchers will document usage patterns of public nutrition, aging, and health care programs and estimate the impact of program participation on food insecurity, food acquisition, health status, health care utilization, and expenditure in low-income older adults. Researchers will utilize two datasets: 1) a comprehensive Georgia statewide longitudinal dataset with information on food insecurity, administrative data on SNAP and Older Americans Act Title III programs and Home and Community-based Services, health status, and health care utilization and expenditure; and, 2) the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS). State-level administrative data will allow researchers to track individuals over time for program participation and food insecurity. FoodAPS data will enable a potential confirmation of state-level findings. The findings from this project hold potential for research and nutrition assistance program and policy innovations for older Americans. The approaches will provide methodological guidance on linking and utilizing data from complementary data sources and suggest best-practices to leverage existing administrative data sources for nutrition assistance and aging programs in establishing timely and reliable researchable databases. The findings from this study will fill in the gap in the literature on the causal relationship of nutrition assistance programs with food insecurity, food acquisition, health, and healthcare utilization/expenditures in low-income older adults.

Levy, Helen (PI). University of Michigan. Food Insecurity among Seniors: The Role of Social Insurance
The project has four objectives: 1) estimate the economic, demographic, health-related, and psychosocial predictors of food insecurity among seniors using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS); 2) estimate the causal impact of Social Security income on food insecurity among seniors using data from the HRS and the Current Population Survey (CPS); 3) estimate the causal impact of Medicare on food insecurity among seniors using data from the HRS and the National Health Interview Survey; and, 4) estimate the causal impact of Medicaid on food insecurity among seniors using data from the CPS. Objective one is a descriptive analysis of the determinants of food insecurity among seniors using both cross-sectional and individual fixed-effect models. Objective two relies on the Social Security “notch” – a discontinuity in the generosity of benefits for individuals born before or after Jan. 1, 1917 – to estimate how much Social Security income reduces food insecurity among seniors. Objective three relies on the sharp discontinuity in Medicare eligibility at age 65 to estimate the effect of that program on food insecurity among seniors. Objective four analyzes states that have or have not utilized Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act to estimate the impact on food insecurity. Among seniors the major social insurance and transfer programs studied in this proposal – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – may hold the key to reducing food-related hardships because most elderly who experience food insecurity are ineligible for means-tested nutrition assistance programs. Findings will also increase understanding of the full range of benefits that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid deliver to older Americans.

Marton, James (PI); Courtemanche, Charles; Denteh, Augustine; Tchernis, Rusty. Georgia State University. A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Impact of SNAP on the Health of Seniors
Researchers will use data from the December Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement to examine the effect of SNAP on household food insecurity and food expenditures, comparing estimates for the full sample to those for a restricted sample of respondents aged 60 and older. Next, data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), will be used to explore how SNAP influences a wide range of senior health-related outcomes, including global self-assessments of physical and mental health, current health conditions, activities of daily living, body mass index, risky behaviors, and health care utilization. The project will also utilize data from the Health and Retirement Study to analyze a similar range of SNAP’s effects, such as how they change with repeated exposure. The researchers will address the issue of endogeneity from the non-random nature of SNAP participation using a strategy that exploits cross-state, over-time variation in a number of state policies related to SNAP eligibility. They also address the measurement error in survey-based SNAP participation measures with an estimator that jointly models both true SNAP participation status and the probability of misreporting. Project results will provide a comprehensive view of the causal effect of SNAP on seniors’ food security and health. Finding that SNAP generally improves seniors’ food security and health outcomes would mean that developing effective methods to improve senior take-up of SNAP would increase their well-being. Finding that SNAP harms or has no effects on these outcomes would highlight the potential for program changes aimed at improving senior outcomes.

Small Research Subcontracts

Balistreri, Kelly Stamper (PI). Bowling Green State University. Senior Hunger and the Food Security Infrastructure
The project seeks to identify several broad state-level components of senior-specific food assistance programs, such as the availability and accessibility of federal nutrition programs for seniors, policies that influence the economic well-being of seniors, and the economic and social characteristics of the community. By combining this information with population-based data, this project will aid in a better understanding of the economic, social, and policy context in which senior hunger occurs. The project has three objectives: 1) identify the relationship between the senior-specific food security infrastructure and patterns of food hardship among the population ages 60 and older; 2) evaluate whether the contextual characteristics of the infrastructure moderate the detrimental impact low income on seniors; and, 3) examine the differential associations between senior food supports and various demographic groups among the nation’s elderly. The research will present a descriptive portrait of seniors (ages 60 and older) across multiple levels of food hardship, as well as across levels of the senior-specific food security infrastructure. To address the research questions, multilevel models will be constructed that encompass sociodemographic and senior food security infrastructure characteristics. This project integrates multiple measures of contextual information that are specific to the senior population with recent population-based data measuring senior food hardship. This study considers how state-level food security context may protect or perhaps generate risk for America’s seniors. The long-term goal is to inform policies that are designed to eliminate hunger among the elderly and thus improve population health.

Brucker, Debra (PI); Mitra, Sophie. University of New Hampshire. Understanding Food-Related Hardships among Older Americans: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics
This project has three objectives: 1) identify mid-life predictors of living in a food insecure household at age 60 and older; 2) determine whether living in a food insecure household in mid-life is associated with reduced odds of wellbeing or healthy aging among persons age 60 and older; and, 3) examine changes in the odds of living in a food insecure household among adults as they transition onto Social Security retirement benefits. Researchers will use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative study which has tracked over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families since 1968, to conduct multivariate methods to address the three objectives. This project will identify midlife predictors of food insecurity among older adults, the association between midlife food insecurity and aging outcomes, and the relative effect of transitions onto Social Security retirement benefits on food security for older adults. Information about midlife predictors of food insecurity can be used to identify younger subpopulations at greatest risk of developing food insecurity in old age, providing opportunities for early intervention and more targeted outreach. This information can be used at the federal, state and local levels by a variety of agencies and organizations. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service, for example, can use such information as they guide the development of state-level outreach programs for certain subpopulations to encourage SNAP participation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Community Living, which provides nutrition services to seniors as authorized by the Older Americans Act, can use such information to guide service delivery as well.

Loibl, Cäzilia (PI); Haurin, Donald; Moulton, Stephanie. Ohio State University. The Impact of Financial and Housing Wealth on Food Insecurity
The goal of this project it to develop an improved understanding of the effectiveness of financial and housing wealth for food security in older age. The research uses Health and Retirement Study data to achieve three objectives: 1) document trends in age-adjusted food insecurity, mortgage debt, and borrowing constraints among older adults from 2000 to 2016 and identify the extent to which disparities in food hardship for black and white older adults are associated with components of financial and housing wealth; 2) identify the mechanisms through which financial and housing wealth influence food insecurity, and estimate differences by race; and, 3) simulate how policy innovations in access to housing wealth and the burden of mortgage debt affect food insecurity and quantify the impact of such policies on reducing disparities in food hardship by race. This research contributes to public policy for the design of interventions that may affect food hardship, investigating modes by which older adults may liquefy home equity, such as through federally insured reverse mortgages. This project isolates the mechanisms that underlie the relationship between housing wealth and food security by directly measuring the impact of mortgage payments, new mortgage borrowing, and borrowing constraints. Researchers also compare the impact of housing wealth to financial wealth on food insecurity. Based on these findings, the investigators simulate the impact of specific policy changes on food security outcomes for black and white older adults, and thus the expected policy impact on racial disparities.

Martinez-Miller, Erline (PI); Borton, Eric; Leonard, Tammy; Pruitt, Sandi. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Aging into Medicare among a Foodbank Population: A Longitudinal Assessment of Foodbank Use, Food Insecurity, and Health
The study addresses gaps in knowledge about longitudinal assessments of food insecurity and the impact of Medicare eligibility on senior hunger with administrative data from senior foodbank clients (aged ≥60 years) in Dallas County, Texas, and records drawn from a community services organization. The research has three objectives related to foodbank use and food insecurity: 1) describe longitudinal trends and sociodemographic and health correlates; 2) investigate the impact of aging into Medicare eligibility at 65; and 3) determine whether pre-existing health conditions lead to differential impacts of aging into Medicare. Data from more than 1,000 foodbank clients aged 60 and older will be utilized to identify sociodemographic, economic, social and health correlates. Researchers will investigate the impact of Medicare eligibility at 65 years of age on foodbank use and food insecurity and examine whether pre-existing health conditions lead to differential impacts of Medicare eligibility on foodbank use and food insecurity. The project will reveal the unexplored connections between aging into Medicare, food insecurity, and foodbank use among seniors. Results will inform local stakeholders and the national evidence-base for health researchers, economists, policymakers, and community organizations. Findings will, 1) identify senior populations vulnerable to food insecurity in Dallas County for targeted interventions, planning, and resources, 2) inform similar studies and programs nationally, 3) add to the evidence-base of federally-funded health insurance as a policy to ameliorate socioeconomic and health disparities, and 4) Guide future Feeding America health assessments by identifying prevalent pre-existing conditions among food insecure seniors.

2018

The state of senior hunger in America 2016: An annual report

In the annual report for calendar year 2016, we find that: 13.6% of seniors are marginally food insecure, 7.7% are food insecure, and 2.9% are very low food secure. This translates into 8.6 million, 4.9 million, and 1.8 million seniors, respectively. From 2015 to 2016, there were statistically significant declines in the percentage of marginally food-insecure seniors. However, there were no statistically significant changes in food insecurity or very low food security. Looking at demographic categories, there were sizable and statistically significant declines for several categories among the marginally food insecure; however, only two groups – those with incomes above 200% of the poverty line and white seniors—experienced significant declines in food insecurity. Across all three measures, from 2014 to 2016 there were statistically significant declines of 2.2 percentage points, 1.2 percentage points, and 0.5 percentage points for marginal food insecurity, food insecurity, and very low food security. Compared to 2001, the fraction of marginal food insecure, food insecure, and very low food secure seniors increased by 27%, 45%, and 100%. The number of seniors in each group rose 90%, 113%, and 200%, which also reflects the growing population of seniors. 


2017

The health consequences of senior hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2014 NHANES

In this report we examine the health consequences of food insecurity among seniors. The report updates our earlier studies on this issue by examining how trends in health and nutrition outcomes among food secure and food insecure seniors have changed over the past decade before and after the Great Recession. Using data from the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we find that (1) Food insecure seniors have lower nutrient intakes. For each of the eleven nutrients, average intakes are statistically significantly lower by between 9 and 26 percent for food insecure seniors in comparison to food secure seniors. After controlling for other confounding factors, the effect of food insecurity is still negative for each of the nutrients albeit in some of the cases, the effect is statistically insignificant. These differences in nutrient intakes held across time as well; (2) Food insecure seniors have worse health outcomes. For a wide array of health outcomes, food insecure seniors are worse-off than food secure seniors. Namely, they are 65 percent more likely to be diabetic, twice as likely to report fair or poor general health, 2.3 times more likely to suffer from depression, over 30 percent more likely to report at least one ADL limitation, 19 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, 57 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure, 66 more likely to have experienced a heart attack, twice as likely to report having gum disease, and 91 percent more likely to have asthma. These differences were present in both the aggregate and for each four-year time period we examined. And, with the exception of gum disease, these worse outcomes hold even after controlling for other factors, though attenuated in magnitude; and (3) The effect of food insecurity holds even for a lower-income sample. As shown in Ziliak and Gundersen (2017), food insecurity rates are substantially higher for those with incomes less than two times the poverty line. So, we investigated whether or not the negative association of food insecurity with nutrient intakes and health remain even when we limit our multivariate analyses to those with incomes below twice the poverty line. We find that, in the main, the substantive and statistical significance of the results are quite similar to those for the full sample. This further demonstrates the importance of looking at food insecurity as an independent predictor of negative health and nutrition outcomes, even among lower-income seniors.


The state of senior hunger in America 2015: An annual report

This annual report for calendar year 2015  demonstrates that seniors continue to face serious challenges despite a recent slight decline in food insecurity. 

Specifically, in 2015 we find that: (1) 14.7% of seniors face marginal food insecurity, 8.1% face food insecurity and 3.1% are very low food secure. This translates into 9.8 million, 5.4 million, and 2.1 million seniors, respectively; (2) From 2014 to 2015, there were statistically significant declines in the proportion of seniors facing both marginal food insecurity and food insecurity. However, there was no change in those facing very low food security. These declines were most pronounced among those living in metro areas, African Americans, Hispanics, and younger seniors; (3) Compared to 2001, the fraction of seniors experiencing marginal food insecurity, food insecurity, and very low food security has increased by 37%, 53%, and 121%. The number of seniors in each group rose 109%, 135%, and 250% which also reflects the growing population of seniors. and (4) Continuing with historic trends documented in prior reports, we find that marginal food insecurity is greatest among those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger (ages 60-69). 


2016

The state of senior hunger in America 2014: An annual report

In our update for the calendar year 2014, we find that 15.8% of seniors are marginally food insecure, 8.8% are food insecure, and 3.4% are very low food secure. This translates into 10.2 million, 5.7 million, and 2.2 million seniors, respectively. From 2001 to 2014, the fraction of seniors experiencing the marginal food insecurity, food insecurity, and very low food security increased by 47%, 68%, and 138%, respectively. The number of seniors in each group rose 119%, 148%, and 252% which also reflects the growing population of seniors. These increases are substantially higher than the full population which saw increases in food insecurity rates and very low food security rates of 30.8% and 69.7% and increases in numbers of 49.7% and 97.6%. 


2015

The state of senior hunger in America 2013: An annual report

Based on the barometer of food insecurity, this report demonstrates that seniors continue to face increasing challenges despite the end of the Great Recession. Specifically, in 2013 we find that 15.5% of seniors marginally food insecurer, 8.7% are food insecure, and 3.3% are very low food secure. This translates into 9.6 million, 5.4 million, and 2.0 million seniors, respectively. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 until 2013, the number of seniors experiencingfood insecurity has increased by 68%.


2014

The state of senior hunger in America 2012: An annual report

In this report we provide an overview of the extent and distribution of food insecurity in 2012 among seniors, along with trends over the past decade using national and state-level data from the December Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Based on the full set of 18 questions in the Core Food Security Module (CFSM), the module used by the USDA to establish the official food insecurity rates of households in the United States, our emphasis here is on quantifying the senior population facing the threat of hunger (i.e. marginally food insecure). A supplement to this report also presents evidence on seniors at risk of hunger (i.e. food insecure) and on seniors facing hunger (i.e. very low food secure). This report demonstrates that seniors in 2012 continued to face increasing challenges meeting food need. Specifically, we find that

       • 15.3% of seniors face the threat of hunger. This translates into 9.3 million seniors.

       • Those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger (ages 60-69) are most likely to be threatened by hunger

.      • Out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the poverty line and are white.

      • From 2001 to 2012, the fraction of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 44%. The number of seniors rose by 98% which also reflects the growing population of seniors.

      • Since the onset of the recession in 2007 until 2012, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 49%.


The health consequences of senior hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES

Food insecure seniors have lower nutrient intakes. For each of the eleven nutrients, average intakes are statistically significantly lower generally by 10-20 percent for food insecure seniors in comparison to food secure seniors. After controlling for other confounding factors, the effect of food insecurity is still negative for each of the nutrients albeit in some of the cases, the effect is statistically insignificant. These differences in health outcomes held across time. Food insecure seniors have worse health outcomes. For a wide array of health outcomes, food insecure seniors are worse-off than food secure seniors. Namely, they are 50 percent more likely to be diabetic, twice as likely to report fair or poor general health, three times more likely to suffer from depression, 30 percent more likely to report at least one ADL limitation, 14 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, nearly 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or experienced a heart attack, and twice as likely to report having gum disease or have asthma. These differences were present in both the aggregate and for each four-year time period we examined. And, with the exception of gum disease, these worse outcomes hold even after controlling for other factors, though attenuated in magnitude. The effect of food insecurity holds even for a lower-income sample. As shown in Ziliak and Gundersen (2013), food insecurity rates are substantially higher for those with incomes less than 200% of the poverty line. So, we investigated whether or not the negative association of food insecurity with nutrient intakes and health remain even when we limit our multivariate analyses to those with incomes below 200% of the poverty line. We find that, in the main, the substantive and statistical significance of the results are quite similar to those for the full sample. This further demonstrates the importance of looking at food insecurity as an independent predictor of negative health and nutrition outcomes, even among lower-income seniors.


2013

The state of senior hunger in America 2011: An annual report

In the report we provide an overview of the extent and distribution of food insecurity among senior Americans in 2011, along with trends over the past decade using national and state-level data from the December Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Based on the full set of 18 questions in the Core Food Security Module (CFSM), the module used by the USDA to establish the official food insecurity rates of households in the United States, our emphasis here is on quantifying the senior population facing the threat of hunger (i.e. marginally food insecure). A supplement to this report also presents evidence on seniors at risk of hunger (i.e. food insecure) and on seniors facing hunger (i.e. very low food secure).

The Great Recession has caused extreme hardship on many families in the United States, and senior Americans are no exception. Based on the barometer of marginal food insecurity, this report card demonstrates that in 2011 this hardship continues:
• 15.2% of seniors, or 8.8 million, face the threat of hunger. This is a statistically significant increase from 14.3% since 2009, the end of the Great Recession.
• Those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger (ages 60-69) are most likely to be threatened by hunger.
• Out of those seniors who faced the threat of hunger, the majority had incomes above the poverty line and are white.
• From 2001 to 2011, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 88%.
• From the onset of the Great Recession in 2007 to 2011 the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 42%.

 


2012

Multigenerational families and food insecurity

The prevalence of multigenerational families is on the rise in the United States, as is food insecurity. We estimate the effect of resident grandchildren on the risk of and transitions in food insecurity using repeated cross sections and longitudinally linked two-year panels of the Current Population Survey from 2001-2010. We find that rates of food insecurity in families with a grandchild present are at least twice as high in a typical year compared to families without a resident grandchild, and the extent of very low food security increased substantially faster among these households over the past decade. The rise in food insecurity during and after the Great Recession is due to both increased entry into food insecurity and decreased exit out of food insecurity. A similar trend accounts for the rise in multigenerational households during the recession—grandchildren were more likely to move in with their grandparents, and once there, were less likely to move out. There are also important differences in risk factors for food insecurity between multigenerational families and those with no grandchildren present. Our transition models show that whether grandchildren remain, or in periods of transition, multigenerational families are at heighted risk of entering food insecurity and remaining in this state. However, the entry of a grandchild may not always be a negative for the family’s food security, nor the exit of the child a positive. Entrance of a child seems to buffer the family from extreme forms of food insecurity while exit exposes the family to risk of deeper food insecurity.


Senior hunger in America 2010: An annual report

This study is the first in a series of annual reports on the state of senior hunger in the United States. In the report we provide an overview of the extent and distribution of food insecurity in 2010, along with trends over the past decade using national and state-level data from the December Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Based on the full set of 18 questions in the Core Food Security Module (CFSM), the module used by the USDA to establish the official food insecurity rates of households in the United States, our emphasis here is on quantifying the senior population facing the threat of hunger (i.e. marginally food insecure). A supplement to this report also presents evidence on seniors at risk of hunger (i.e. food insecure) and on seniors facing hunger (i.e. very low food secure). The Great Recession has caused extreme hardship on many families in the United States, and senior Americans are no exception. Based on the barometer of food insecurity, this report demonstrates that our seniors may face more challenges than initially thought. Unlike the population as a whole, food insecurity among those age 60 and older actually increased between 2009 and 2010. These increases were most pronounced among the near poor, whites, widows, non-metro residents, the retired, women, and among households with no grandchildren present.

Specifically, in 2010 we find that
• 14.85% of seniors, or more than 1 in 7, face the threat of hunger. This translates into 8.3 million seniors. In contrast, in Ziliak, et al. (2008) we reported that as of 2005 1 in 9 seniors faced the threat of hunger.
• Those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger (ages 60-69) are most likely to be threatened by hunger.
• Out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the poverty line and are white.
• From 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 78%. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 34%.