The United States is experiencing social issues related to food insecurity and hunger. Current research states that older adults are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. In a study published in the Journal of Urban Health states, “Among the 14.6% of American households experiencing food insecurity, approximately 2 million are occupied by older adults” (Chung, Gallo, Giunta, Canavan, Parikh, & Fahs, 2011, p. 1). Since the year 2011 the Athens Community Council on Aging reports, “Almost 9 million older adults in the United States are at risk for hunger, and Georgia is 8th in state rankings for older adult risk of hunger” (2014, p. 1). Fortunately, in North America, hunger seldom reaches extreme levels of starvation. Researchers’ instead look at food insecurity as a way to monitor needs in our society (North, I, 2001).
What is the definition of food insecurity? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as not being able to acquire nutritionally adequate and safe food during the course of a year (D.C. Hunger, 2014). There are several factors that contribute to food insecurity in the oldest-of-old population for instance poverty, lack of access, chronic illness, and functional ability.
According to the Georgia Food Bank Association, “Food insecurity issues exists within the State of Georgia at the rate of 20 % and nearly 1 in 5 Georgians are food insecure and struggling with hunger, well above the national average. Seniors with special dietary needs and larger households due to the economic distress of family members are increasingly turning to food pantries for help.”
Poverty is a determinant for the incidence of food insecurity and varies accordin...
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...., & Johnson, M. A. (2010). Food insecurity, food and nutrition programs,and aging: experiences from Georgia. Journal of nutrition for the elderly, 29(2), 116-149.
NCBA-Aged (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ncba-aged.org/
NEGRC (2014). Retrieved from http://www.negrc.org
News America Media (2014). Retrieved from http://newamericamedia.org/2013/10/food-stamp-cuts-will-affect-47-million-black households.php?utm_source=Headlines+11%2F4%2F13&utm_campaign=Headlines+11%2F4%2F13&utm_medium=email#
North, I. (2001). Food insecurity in Canadian households. Health Reports, 12(4), 11.
Prosperous Athens (2014). Retrieved from http://www.prosperousathens.org/poverty-data
Wolfe, W. S., Frongillo, E. A., & Valois, P. (2003). Understanding the experience of food insecurity by elders suggests ways to improve its measurement. The Journal of nutrition, 133(9), 2762-2769.
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