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Contact: Peggy Ingraham
703-548-5558
peggy@mowaa.org

 



For Immediate Release:

Senior Hunger Report Card™ from Meals On Wheels Research Foundation
Finds America Failing Nation’s Seniors

8.3 Million Seniors Faced the Threat of Hunger in 2010, a 78% Increase since 2001


Alexandria, VA (May 3, 2012)—The Meals On Wheels Research Foundation (MOWRF) today issued the first annual Senior Hunger Report Card™ (Report Card), which evaluates the nation’s performance in reducing food insecurity and eradicating hunger. The Senior Hunger Report Card™ examined America’s progress in eight categories and assigned grades including the following:

  • A grade of “F” for Overall Performance: 8.3 million seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2010. This reflects a 78% increase since 2001 – and a 34% increase since the start of the recession in 2007.

  • A grade of “F” for Economics: Since 2009 and the end of the recession, the risk of hunger for the overall US population has declined. However, during the same time period food insecurity increased among those age 60 and older – primarily among the near-poor, with income one to two times the poverty level.

  • A grade of “F” for Women’s Studies: The effects of food insecurity are disproportionately borne by women, who make up over 60% of seniors facing the threat of hunger. Senior women are more likely to face the threat of hunger than their male counterparts – and the gender gap has widened since 2009.

  • A grade of “F” in Ethics: In the richest nation on Earth, more than 1 in 7 seniors is threatened by hunger. This increase from 1 in 9 seniors in 2005 foretells an alarming human cost if this national crisis is not reversed.

Other grades include: a “D-” for Geography, a “D+” for Multicultural Studies, a “C-” for Home Economic and an Incomplete for Health & Physical Education.

The opinions expressed in the Report Card are based on MOWRF’s independent review of the original research and data published in “Senior Hunger in America 2010: An Annual Report,” which was also released today. The report was prepared by Dr. James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Craig Gundersen of the University of Illinois.

The report also found that, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 10 states with the highest rates of seniors facing the threat of hunger are the following:

  • Mississippi                     21.53%
  • New Mexico                    21.24%
  • Arkansas                       19.42%
  • Texas                             18.14%
  • Tennessee                     17.57%
  • Alabama                        17.29%
  • Georgia                         17.12%
  • South Carolina              17.10%
  • Florida                           16.64%
  • Nevada                          16.50%

“There is no question that we are failing our seniors, some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Enid A. Borden, Chief Executive Officer of the Meals On Wheels Research Foundation. “The numbers spell out our failure with clarity, and at the same time they call us to action. No one in this, the richest nation on Earth, should face the threat of hunger, no one. And seniors, who have little power to change their circumstances, deserve our special attention.”

This Senior Hunger Report Card™ is the first in a series of annual report cards on the state of senior hunger that the Meals On Wheels Research Foundation plans to issue. These will be based on the Foundation’s analyses of annual research reports prepared by Drs. Ziliak and Gundersen, who will examine national and state-level data from the December Supplements to the Current Population Study (CPS), a nationally representative survey conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Both the full Senior Hunger Report Card™ and the research report “Senior Hunger in America 2010: An Annual Report,” including an executive summary, are available at www.mowrf.org.

For additional information, please contact Peggy Ingraham at 703-548-5558 or peggy@mowaa.org.


About Meals On Wheels Research Foundation
Formed in 1995, the Meals On Wheels Research Foundation (MOWRF) is the only research entity of its kind focused exclusively on the areas of senior hunger and senior nutrition in the United States. MOWRF seeks to support the Meals On Wheels Association of America’s (MOWAA) vision of ending senior hunger by 2020 through the sponsorship and promotion of research that increases understanding and awareness of the issue. Ending senior hunger is within our reach.

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