We're all hoping that the worst of the recession is over and that things are looking up. Many property markets are on their way back and while unemployment is still too high for anyone's liking, we're not where we were several years ago.
But many Americans are still going hungry and are also combating isolation. One significant group is older Americans.
Meals on Wheels is a group dedicated to feeding senior Americans and those who cannot leave their homes. Older Americans without physical impediments can head to senior centers for a nutritious free meal.
Meals on Wheels provides this service to all fifty states as well as to all U.S. territories. They estimate that they have between 800,000 and 1.7 million volunteers, and with their partners they serve a staggering one million free meals per day.
According to the organization Feeding America, they feed about 3 million senior Americans every year and have found that 9 million adults over the age of 50 (and 4 million over the age of 50) live in households that are "food insecure".
Being food insecure means that a person has difficulty accessing nutritious food on a regular basis for financial reasons, or for reasons of limited mobility/access to food.
They project that this number will rise by 50 percent when the last of the baby boomers turn 60.
They also report that seniors are more likely to be food insecure if they:
• Live in a southern state
• Are younger
• Live with a grandchild
• Are African American
• Are Hispanic
For seniors, protecting themselves from food insecurity and hunger is more difficult than for the general population.
For example, a study that focused on the experience of food insecurity among the elderly population found that food insecure seniors sometimes had enough money to purchase food but did not have the resources to access or prepare food due to lack of transportation, functional limitations, or health problems. http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/senior-hunger.a...
Meals on Wheels doesn't just provide meals to poorer seniors.