Senior hunger and malnutrition is a serious problem. According to the National Council on Aging, 9.6 million older Americans faced the threat of going hungry in 2013, and that number is steadily growing.
In honor of March’s National Nutrition Month initiative, we thought we’d share a few ways you can help combat senior hunger and malnutrition from a list of “29 Hunger Action Items” published by AARP.
Be an advocate for food-insecure Americans. Support programs that help those who face hunger, such as the Alliance to End Hunger, Feeding America, AARP Foundation, and Meals on Wheels, as well as food banks and soup kitchens in your area.
Offer rides to the grocery store to seniors you know of in your community who are home-bound or don’t drive often, or offer to go to the store for them.
Share a meal. Invite a senior you know to share a meal, whether it’s at your house, their house or their favorite restaurant. This also helps fight senior loneliness and isolation.
Volunteer with Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers meals right to seniors’ doors. Click here to find the program that’s closest to you.
Write a letter to the editor. Persuade your local columnists to cover senior hunger as a health issue—there’s plenty of information out there to support your argument. According to AARP: “By 2030, there will be more than 72 million older people in the United States — more than twice the number in 2000. Rates of food insecurity among those 50 and older have more than doubled since 2001, and rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases contribute to skyrocketing health care costs. In 2010, older adults spent 13.2 percent of their total expenditures on health — more than twice the proportion spent by consumers overall. Learn more.”
Read the full list here.