How to Communicate With Older Adults about Food Insecurity and Hunger
What Are the Causes of Food Insecurity?
- Cost of food: Among people age 65 and older, more than 9% have income below the poverty line.
- Lack of transportation: Older adults often are less mobile or don’t have convenient access to public transportation.
- Isolation: The lack of socialization limits awareness of food programs and other services available.
- Stigma: Many older adults don’t want to be perceived as needing assistance.
Opening Dialogue About Food Assistance with Older Adults
- What did you have for dinner last night?
- What do you like to eat for dinner?
- What are you planning on eating tomorrow?
Addressing the Issue as a Community
- AmpleHarvest.org: Locate pantries that accept excess harvest from gardeners so users can get fresh produce.
- Feeding America food bank database: Search from among a nationwide network of food banks, food pantries and meal programs.
- FoodPantries.org: Locate your area’s food pantries along with hours and contact information.
- FreeFood.org: Find free food resources, including food banks and church pantries, by state.
- Meals on Wheels America “Find Meals”: Identify a nearby food provider among more than 5,000 in this network.
- National Council on Aging SNAP interactive: Find state application forms as well as information such as hotlines to call and documents required.
- USDA National Hunger Hotline (7 a.m.–10 p.m. ET): Call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 877-8-HAMBRE and a representative will identify meal sites, food banks, and other services near you.