Across the United States, millions of people are food insecure, which means having limited access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy lifestyle. As of 2017, 7.7% of seniors age 60 and older, or 5.5 million seniors overall, are food insecure. The rate and number of food-insecure seniors is essentially unchanged from 2016. However, the current rate of food insecurity among seniors remains significantly elevated above the rate before the Great Recession (6.3% in 2007), and the current number of seniors who are food insecure is still more than double the
number in 2001 (2.3 million).
Food insecurity has negative effects for individuals across the age spectrum. For seniors, these effects can be particularly problematic given the unique health, economic, and nutritional challenges that can come with aging. With the growth of the senior population that has been projected for the coming decades, senior food insecurity is likely to remain a personal and public health challenge in the years to come.
For the third consecutive year, Feeding America has produced The State of Senior Hunger in America, an annual report series authored by Dr. James P. Ziliak and Dr. Craig Gundersen, in order to better understand food insecurity among seniors, how it varies by different geographies, and the circumstances and characteristics that may influence or be influenced by the experience of food insecurity.