June is National Hunger Awareness Month, a good time to take a look at problems of food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition and ways that Thrive Alliance is helping address these issues.

Thrive Alliance’s Senior Nutrition program provides nutrition for both the physical body and the entire person. We provide a comprehensive meal service that increases the well-being of participants by serving meals that contain nutrition that aging adult needs to sustain health and wellness. In 2022, Thrive Alliance served 12,945 meals through our congregate meal site and 41,720 home-delivered meals throughout our five-county region.

Through these efforts and other initiatives, we are helping to address this growing need in our communities.

Facts about senior hunger in America

  • In 2021, 5.5 million seniors aged 60+ faced hunger. That’s 1 in 14 seniors or 7.1% of all seniors.
  • Hunger takes a severe toll on seniors’ health and nutrition – putting them at risk for chronic health conditions like depression, asthma, and diabetes.
  • Some seniors are more likely to face hunger due to racial and economic inequality. Seniors are more likely to face hunger if they identify as Black, Latino, or Native America; have lower incomes; or have a disability.
  • Nutrition programs are available to help seniors afford food, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Seniors have unique nutrition needs, and not having enough wholesome food to eat can create harmful health effects. Food insecurity has been linked with:

  • Lower nutrient intakes:Older adults with food insecurity consume lower levels of key nutrients such as protein, vitamins A and C, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Insufficient nutrition can lead to malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and chronic diseases.
  • Poorer health outcomes:Seniors who are food insecure are 65% more likely to be diabetic. They are also more likely to suffer from conditions such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, and gum disease.
  • Mental health issues:The constant worry and uncertainty associated with food insecurity can take a toll on a person’s psychological well-being.

For more on Thrive Alliance’s Nutrition programs: https://thrive-alliance.org/nutritional-services/