Increasing numbers of seniors in the United States are going without enough food due to economic constraints, and this has not slowed down 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 Research Foundation (now NFESH). As reported in the recent "The State of Senior Hunger in America 2012: An Annual Report," conducted for NFESH, the fraction of food insecure seniors rose by 66 percent between 2001 and 2012 to 5.3 million seniors, and the corresponding fraction experiencing the more severe very low food security rose by 146 percent to 2.1 million seniors. The health consequences of senior hunger are significant. The 2014 report sponsored by NFESH and Feeding America, entitled Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans, finds that food insecure seniors are more likely than those who are food secure to have lower nutrient intake and to be at a higher risk for chronic health conditions and depression.