As a leading housing organization dedicated to the well-being of seniors, FSL is deeply concerned about the growing issue of senior hunger in our community. This problem is not just a local one — it’s a national crisis that has been exacerbated by various factors, including economic instability and social isolation. This article aims to shed light on the state of senior hunger in Arizona and share what can be done to help.
The Grim Reality: Arizona Hunger Statistics
According to Feeding America, in 2021, 5.5 million seniors aged 60 and above faced hunger in the United States. That’s approximately 1 in 14, or 7.1%, of all seniors. The numbers are equally alarming when we focus on hunger in Arizona, where over 750,000 individuals are facing hunger. Further, seniors in Arizona are more likely to experience food insecurity, loneliness, and economic instability than those living in other states. This combination can lead to dire situations where seniors in Arizona don’t have the resources to take care of all of their needs.
Health Implications of Food Insecurity
Hunger takes a severe toll on seniors’ health and nutrition, putting them at risk for chronic health conditions like depression, asthma, and diabetes. The issue of food insecurity in Arizona is not just about hunger — it’s about the overall well-being of our seniors.
The Social Factors: Racial and Economic Inequality
Some seniors are more likely to face hunger due to racial and economic inequality. These factors contribute to the rising rates of Arizona food insecurity among seniors who identify as Black, Latino, or Native American, have lower incomes, or have a disability.
How the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Can Help
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is crucial for addressing food insecurity among seniors, yet only a third of eligible seniors above 60 are enrolled. Efforts are being made to simplify the SNAP application process and raise awareness among seniors and community organizations about available resources. Various programs — like Meals on Wheels, congregate meals, and senior food boxes — are some of the important efforts to address food needs and support seniors in aging with dignity.
How FSL Is Making a Difference
At FSL, we are committed to combating senior hunger through various programs and initiatives. Our Call for Compassion campaign aims to address the root causes of food insecurity among seniors. Additionally, our Holidays Are for Giving initiative focuses on providing nutritious meals during the holiday season.
What You Can Do: Fill FSL’s Food Pantries
We urge you to take action by contributing to our food pantries. You can easily donate to our Amazon Wish List to make a tangible difference in the lives of hungry seniors!
The issue of senior hunger is a pressing one that requires immediate attention and action. Through collective efforts and community support, we can make strides in alleviating food insecurity in Arizona.
For more information on how to join us in reducing hospital readmissions, we encourage you to explore our ACTIVATE program further and get involved in the effort to foster healthier communities. You can also call us at 602-406-2374 to learn more about ACTIVATE! Together, we can tackle the issue of hospital readmissions and make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens.
Established in 1974, the Foundation for Senior Living is dedicated to providing integrated, customized care for those who need it in the Phoenix area. We offer a wide range of home- and community-based services, including:
- Affordable housing options
- Nutritious meal programs
- Health and wellness programs
- Senior centers
- Recreation programs
- Support for caregivers
All of these are designed to enable Arizonans of all ages to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. If you or someone you know is struggling to have their needs met, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you. And if you’re able, consider donating or volunteering your time to our mission. We can’t wait to work with you!