ADvancing States & NFESH Release Senior Hunger Report

ADvancing States and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) today released a study entitled The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report, which revealed that 15.5 percent of seniors or 9.6 million individuals age 60 or older in the United States faced the threat of hunger. This represents an increase of 300,000 more seniors affected by senior hunger than the previous year. From the start of the Great Recession in 2007 to 2013, the most recent year for which the data were available, there was a 56 percent increase in the number of seniors affected by hunger.

“No senior should go without the food they need,” said Martha Roherty, ADvancing States Executive Director. “Together with NFESH, we are shining a light on this growing problem and working toward a future without senior hunger.”

In examining the extent of the threat of hunger among seniors in 2013, the report also provides the rates of senior hunger in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Below are the top ten worst states for senior hunger.

State Percentage of seniors who faced the threat of hunger in 2013

“This report shows that year after year, the numbers keep getting worse,” said Enid Borden, NFESH Founder, President and CEO. “These numbers represent real Americans going without enough to eat. This nation cannot afford to sit back and watch as our seniors suffer from hunger. Ending senior hunger needs to become a top priority for every state in this country.”

The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013 also identifies those groups of seniors who were most vulnerable.

  • Half of all seniors with incomes below poverty were affected by hunger.
  • 40 percent of all disabled seniors suffered from hunger.
  • Minorities faced a greater risk of hunger with one-third of all African American seniors facing the threat of hunger.
  • Hispanics were also at risk, with over 30 percent affected.

Commissioned by NFESH, The State of Senior Hunger in America 2013: An Annual Report was produced by Dr. James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen of the University of Illinois based on original research they conducted. This report is a follow-up to their 2014 report entitled “The State of Senior Hunger in America 2012: An Annual Report,” and is the fourth in a series of yearly NFESH-commissioned research studies. The data used for these reports is from the Core Food Security Module (CFSM) in Current Population Study (CPS).

View the full report here.

CONTACT: For further information, please contact Kaitlin Sharkey at ADvancing States at 202-898-2578.

About ADvancing States
ADvancing States represents the 56 officially designated state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities. Each of our members oversees the implementation of the Older Americans Act (OAA), and many also serve as the operating agency in their state for Medicaid waivers that serve older adults and individuals with disabilities. Together with our members, we work to design, improve, and sustain state systems delivering home and community based services and supports for people who are older or have a disability, and their caregivers.

About the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger
The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) identifies and assesses the challenge of senior hunger by funding senior-specific research, fostering local collaboration and engaging diverse partners. Through research, education and community partnerships the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger works to create the tangible and replicable solutions necessary to reverse the escalating number of seniors in the lifecycle of hunger. For more information, visit

News date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2015