This paper examines the characteristics associated with poverty and food insecurity among households ages 55 and older to better understand what drives the gap between these measures of hardship. The analysis uses data from the 2002 through 2018 Health and Retirement Study to assign households one of four outcomes: poor and food insecure, poor and food secure, nonpoor and food insecure, and nonpoor and food secure.
This study investigates recent trends in living arrangements among older Americans and how they relate to nutrition assistance program participation and food insufficiency. We specifically focus on the rising propensity for older adults to live with children under 18 and the decline in living in institutions. We find that both of these living arrangements are associated with SNAP participation and with patterns of food insufficiency.
This study examined changes in senior Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation and household food and non-food expenditures following the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) expansion in SNAP benefits and the 2013 sunset of the benefit expansion.
This study examines the effect of Social Security benefits on labor supply and food security at the early entitlement age (EEA). The data come from the supplements of the Current Population Survey, years 2001 to 2017. The results show that Social Security benefits decreased food insecurity near the EEA, particularly during and after the Great Recession. The effects are evident for both low food security and very low food security and are especially large and robust for widowed householders.
Total nutrient intake, dietary nutrient intake, and dietary quality of U.S. older adults using various food assistance
This project determined and compared the dietary and total (food and dietary supplements) mean usual nutrient intake and proportion meeting recommendations, and dietary quality of U.S. older adults (≥60 years) who use food assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); emergency foods; and community meals or meal delivery; and income-eligible non-participants.
The potentially complex relationships between senior hunger and the constellation of lifetime social, economic, and health statuses are not well understood, or even described. The primary purpose of this study is to assess patterns and associations among lifetime experiences of social, economic, food, and health hardship for food insecure seniors.
Changing patterns of take up and participation in SNAP and the role of out-of-pocket medical expenses
SNAP eligibility and participation rates have been increasing for adults 50 years and older since 2008. At the same time, SNAP participation continues to fall over the life course, with the lowest rates concentrated among individuals 85 years and above. We use longitudinal data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Survey from 2002 to 2016 to document how SNAP eligibility, participation, and take-up changed over time for older adults.
The dynamic nature of poverty and food insecurity among older adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
This paper examines the dynamic of food insecurity for older adults over the past two decades and how it relates with different poverty measures, including the official poverty measure, Supplemental Poverty Measure, and Supplemental Poverty Measure enhanced with imputed rent. It further examines how age, birth cohort, and the Great Recession shape the relationship of food insecurity and poverty.