Across the United States we are experiencing a major demographic shift as “baby boomers” reach their 60s and beyond. This also means that more seniors will be at risk of hunger. Colorado is not an exception:
- From 2001 to 2010, the number of older adults experiencing a threat of hunger has increased by 78%.
- In 2009, 18% of Coloradans aged 60 or over were living at or below 150% of the poverty line, an income that is widely considered to be insufficient to meet the basic needs of housing, food, and healthcare.
- An estimated 9.65% of seniors in Colorado did not know where their next meal was coming from in 2010.
Food insecurity forces seniors to make choices between food, nutrition, heat or medicine. Some just do not have the resources to access or prepare food due to lack of transportation, functional limitations or health problems.
A number of nutrition assistance programs exist to end hunger in Colorado, and some have been designed specifically to meet the needs of older Coloradans. They include:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program for Seniors (CACFP)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Seniors (CSFP)
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Home-delivered meals (Meals on Wheels)
- Congregate feeding programs
- Adult day and residential care programs
- Food banks and food pantries
Hunger Free Colorado works with older Coloradans to ensure that they have access to adequate, nutritious food. Our food assistance navigators help seniors determine eligibility for federal and charitable nutrition programs, answer questions about nutrition assistance programs, as well as assist with completing any needed applications or forms.
To increase access to existing public health programs, we provide training, tools, and support for SNAP Outreach to interested groups. We also build awareness around senior nutrition and hunger through presentations and other outreach efforts in communities across Colorado.
Our older adult nutrition team can:
- Provide on-site SNAP application assistance at interested sites
- Lead partnering organizations in training their staff and volunteers to provide on-site SNAP application assistance
- Do presentations about senior nutrition and hunger
- Share nutrition outreach materials for distribution
- Offer one-on-one assistance in navigating nutrition programs as well as completing necessary applications and forms
If you are interested in collaborating with Hunger Free Colorado on senior nutrition or know anyone who may benefit from our assistance, please contact Donita Rafferty, Older Adult Nutrition Lead, at (303) 228-7966.