This year I am going to honor Mother’s Day by making a donation to fight hunger and loneliness in the home bound elderly community. Too old and frail to shop or cook, or just plain old forgetful, the hidden hungry are everywhere.
Fifty-one million people in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night, six million of which are adults.
I recently stood in line at my local grocery store, and awkwardly watched an elderly man fish around in his pocket for enough money to pay for a can of tuna, a head of lettuce and a container of cat food. I wanted to do something—to say something. But what could I possibly say? Hey mister, let me treat you to some tuna and lettuce with a side of cat food?
The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) has recently released a study, entitled State of Senior Hunger in America 2013, and reveals that 15.5 percent, or 9.6 million seniors, age 60 or older in the United States face the threat of hunger. This represents an increase of 300,000 more seniors affected by senior hunger than in 2012.
The risk of hunger and food insecurity is increasing at an alarming rate among older adults. The number of food-insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50 percent when the youngest of the baby boom generation reaches age 60 in 2025.
The top 5 states, including the District of Columbia, with the largest percent of food insecurity among seniors, are Arizona (26.1), Louisiana (24.3), Mississippi (24.3), D.C. (20.2), and Texas (20.2).
After a lifetime of hard work, many elderly find themselves struggling with health issues on fixed incomes, and many are forced to choose between paying for groceries and buying medicine. Welcome to retirement.
Additionally, hunger among the more than 12 million U.S. veterans over 60 is reaching critical levels. Estimates are that over 300,000 elderly veterans are food insecure. These numbers are unacceptable for any country, especially when the supposed richest country in the world can’t provide enough food for one-sixth of its citizens, much less the veterans who have so valiantly defended it.
So this Mother’s Day, honor someone special, and help to ensure that no senior is left behind. Below are but a few organizations to make a small donation to: