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One in seven seniors in America -- some 8.3 million people -- faced the threat of hunger in 2010, a 78 percent spike since 2001, according to a study(pdf) released 5/3 by Meals On Wheels, the nonprofit that delivers meals to the homebound.

Specifically, in 2010 we find that:

.14.85% of seniors, or more than 1 in 7, face the threat of hunger. This translates into 8.3 million seniors. In contrast, in Ziliak, et al. (2008) we reported that as of 2005 1 in 9 seniors faced the threat of hunger.

.Those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic
minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger (ages 60-69) are Most likely to be threatened by hunger.

.Out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the poverty line and are white.

.From 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has
increased by 78%. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of
seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 34%.

That seniors in our country are going without enough food due to economic constraints is a serious problem in-and-of-itself. In addition, though, in previous work (Ziliak, et al. 2009) we showed that even after controlling for other confounding factors, food insecurity is associated with a host of poor health outcomes for seniors such as reduced nutrient intakes and limitations in activities of daily living. This implies that the recent increase in senior hunger will likely lead to additional nutritional and health challenges for our nation.

The Top Ten Hunger States:

Mississippi

In Mississippi 21.53% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

New Mexico

New Mexico tied for first place with Mississippi -- it also had 21.24% of residents over age 60 at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, 19.42% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Texas

In Texas, 18.14% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, 17.57% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Alabama

In Alabama, 17.29% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Georgia

In Georgia, 17.12% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, 17.10% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Florida

In Florida, 16.64% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

Nevada

In Nevada, 16.50% of people over age 60 were at risk of hunger in 2010, according to Meals on Wheels.

The commonality here of course, is that the Ten Hunger States are all red/republican states excepting a few purple/swing states.  What more can be said?  So while the GOP is baiting with wedge issues it encourages those most at risk to vote against their own interests.  There is no greater indictment of a political economic theory then that it can not feed it's most vulnerable.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Sun May 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People.

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