New report compiles recent research on senior hunger in Maine
Auburn, ME – May is Older Americans Month and Good Shepherd Food Bank is taking the opportunity to highlight the growing problem of senior hunger in Maine by releasing a new report.
The report, entitled Older Mainers, Empty Plates: Senior Food Insecurity in Maine, compiles recent research on senior hunger in Maine and outlines current policies and programs aiming to alleviate senior hunger.
Hunger is increasing among Maine seniors. Nearly 14% of Maine seniors—about 45,600 people—are food insecure. An additional 17% of Maine seniors—about 56,000 people—experience marginal food security and are at risk of going hungry. The number of food insecure Maine seniors has more than doubled since 2010.
“Older Mainers who have worked their whole lives, raised families, and contributed to our communities for years are now finding themselves struggling with hunger,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “Maine seniors are proud and independent people and they don’t always want to broadcast their struggles, so many people don’t realize the extent of this problem. The health and well-being of older Mainers is deeply impacted by food insecurity.”
Maine is the oldest state in the nation with the highest median age and the highest percentage of Baby Boomers in the country. The state’s population is aging at a faster rate than both the New England and national averages. Currently, one in four Mainers is over the age of 60. It’s estimated that more than half of seniors living in Maine do not have enough income to cover all their basic needs.
Given the rising senior population in Maine, we can expect senior hunger to continue to rise, unless steps are taken to solve the problem.
Thirty-eight percent of households served by Good Shepherd Food Bank and our statewide network contain one or more seniors. Tens of thousands of Maine seniors rely on the statewide network of hunger relief charities, including local food pantries and meal sites, to access nutritious food.
To read more from this new report, please visit here.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
As the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to more than 400 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. In 2016, the Food Bank distributed more than 21 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine. Website: www.feedingmaine.org; Phone: (207) 782-3554; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.
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