Hunger remains a growing crisis among America’s seniors. And hunger rates have more than doubled for low-income seniors in the US in recent years. The leading causes of death in individuals over 65 years of age including heart disease, cancer and stroke are nutrition-related. According to national research, seniors struggling with hunger is getting worse:
15.3% of seniors face the threat of hunger. This translates into 9.3 million seniors. 1
Between 2001 and 2012, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 44%. 1
3 out of 5 seniors who qualify for SNAP do not apply. This means that 5.2 million seniors miss out on vital benefits that could literally save their lives. 2
30 percent of client households with seniors indicated that they have had to choose between food and medical care and 35 percent have had to choose between food and paying for heat/utilities. 2
In addition, many eligible seniors face unique barriers, both perceived and real, in accessing SNAP benefits. Despite an emphasis on nutrition, SNAP remains stigmatized, keeping many proud but hungry low-income elderly from participating. Through our program Solutions to Senior Hunger™, we have identified a number of barriers that impede senior participation in SNAP and are working to overcome them.
But the growing hunger crisis among seniors cannot be addressed by SNAP application assistance alone. We believe that a strong advocacy plan and strategy will aid seniors in accessing benefits and receiving the help they desperately need to put food on the table. We hope to continue our partnership with Walmart Foundation to engage in strategic advocacy to help hungry seniors.
Solutions to Senior Hunger™ is generously funded by the Walmart Foundation.
1 National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, 2 National Council on Aging
We partner with Jewish Family Service (JFS) agencies around the country to conduct SNAP outreach and education to senior populations, administer SNAP application assistance for eligible clients, and act as a liaison between the client and their local government agency managing SNAP.
Jewish Family Service of Colorado
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee
Jewish Family & Community Services of Jacksonville
Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, New Jersey
Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties
Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland
Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh
Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Family Service of Dallas
Jewish Family Service of Seattle
Jewish Family Service of Stamford Inc.
Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Jewish Family Service of Metrowest New Jersey
Jewish Family Service, Salt Lake City
Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis
Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area
Jewish Family and Childrens Service, St. Louis
Jewish Family & Childrens Service, Pittsburgh
Jewish Family & Career Services Inc., Atlanta
Yad Ezra Inc.
Jewish Family Service of Tidewater
Jewish Family & Career Services, Louisville
Jewish Family & Childrens Service, Phoenix
Senior Hunger Resources
Jewish Family & Community Services, Jacksonville, FL
"In early August, I received a phone call from a sweet spirit interested in SNAP benefits. She had learned about our program from a flyer that was part of our Jewish Services quarterly newsletter. With little to no income and a list of medical issues, she definitely qualified for services. During the pre-screening she revealed that she struggled to purchase food every single month. I helped her complete her application and she was approved for maximum benefits. She stated how important every little ounce of help is to a person who is really in need, and how grateful she is for the program and those serving seniors. These are the moments I live and work for!"