Earlier this month, Feeding America and The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) released The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2015, a study on food insecurity among seniors in the U.S. The report shows that 5.4 million seniors age 60 or older (8.1 percent) were food insecure in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available.

In addition, researchers found the following characteristics of seniors who struggle to meet their nutritional needs:

  • Seniors who are racial or ethnic minorities, low-income or younger vs. older (age 60-69 vs. age 80+) were most likely to be affected by some level of food insecurity.
  • Seniors who reported a disability were disproportionately affected, with 25% reporting food insecurity and an additional 13% reporting marginal food security.
  • Senior food insecurity rates vary by state, ranging from 2.9% in North Dakota to 15.6% in Louisiana. When seniors who experience marginal food security are included, total rates vary from 6.1% in North Dakota to 24.3% in Mississippi. Seniors living in the South are more likely to experience food insecurity than seniors living in other parts of the country.
  • Food insecurity adversely affects a person’s health, and the implications can be particularly problematic for seniors. Compared to food-secure seniors, food-insecure seniors:
    • Consume fewer calories and lower quantities of key nutrients.
    • Are more likely to experience negative health conditions, including depression, asthma, and chest pain.

In examining the extent of the threat of hunger nationally among seniors in 2015, the report also provides the rates of senior hunger in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Download the Executive Summary and Full Report Here!


Meals on Wheels Scam – Berks County

Meals on Wheels Phone Scam Affecting PA Seniors

Reading, PA—Berks Encore would like to alert Berks County senior citizens to a new Meals on Wheels scam.  Berks Encore Meals on Wheels clients have reported being contacted by scammers claiming to represent Meals on Wheels; the scammers request personal information.

The scammer asks the individual to provide information about his/her home, home ownership status, rent/mortgage information, and bank account information. Targeted individuals reported that the caller knew a variety of personal details, including the names of their children and financial institution. These calls are fraudulent and no personal information should be provided to the callers.

“This is yet another scam trying to get bank account and other information from seniors,” states LuAnn Oatman, President/CEO of Berks Encore and President of Meals on Wheels Association of Pennsylvania.  “Representatives of Berks Encore’s Meals on Wheels staff will not call homebound clients requesting on the status of your mortgage, rent, or bank balances. Qualifications for the Berks Encore Meals on Wheels program do not require a financial report.”

Phone scams are not new, although often scammers find new, creative ways to create a compelling story. Never give personal information like your social security number or banking information ove rhte phone, and be suspicious of calls from people who claim to represent official agencies and then request personal information. Check your bank statement for any unusual charges. Remember that scare tactics are a red flag; if anyone threatens that your Meals on Wheels or other coverage may be taken away by not cooperating, hang up the phone immediately.