Advocacy Toolkit: Nutrition
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Advocacy Toolkit: Nutrition

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Nearly 5 million older adults are at risk of hunger. Federal nutrition services for the most vulnerable Americans still aren’t getting needed investments. Help us protect these programs!

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 


How it Helps

About 3 million low-income adults aged 60+ rely on an average SNAP benefit of $119 per month to buy nutritious food. In 2012, SNAP lifted 4.9 million Americans out of poverty, including nearly 350,000 seniors.

What's at Stake

Only 2 out of 5 of seniors eligible for SNAP actually apply because they don’t know about the program or how to enroll. It is important that outreach to underserved populations continues, and that barriers to applying for help are addressed. NCOA is working with state and local organizations to reach more eligible seniors to help them sign up and improve access by bringing about systems change.

Learn More

  • Senior SNAP Enrollment Toolkit
    This toolkit for community-based organizations offers proven strategies and best practices to increase SNAP enrollment among older adults.
  • SNAP Outreach
    At our urging, 47 national, state, and local organizations are seeking clarification from the USDA on SNAP outreach to older adults and people with disabilities.

Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs


How they Help

OAA congregate and home-delivered nutrition programs provided over 224 million meals to older adults in 2012. This service is especially critical for the nearly 60% of recipients who report that the meals represent half or more of their food intake for the day.

What's at Stake

Funding for OAA nutrition programs has not kept pace with need or inflation. Cuts due to the federal budget sequester also led to fewer meals, waiting lists, and program closures across the country. While funding was restored this year, rising costs mean that only about 213 million meals will be provided, and more cuts are looming in 2016. OAA reauthorization also is long overdue.

Learn More

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)


How it Helps

CSFP provides nutritious food to low-income Americans at less than half the average retail value. Of the 594,000 individuals served each month in 2012, nearly 97% are older adults with incomes of less than 130% of poverty.

What's at Stake

The CSFP is being transitioned to a seniors-only program. Yet, funding is only sufficient to maintain current caseloads in 39 states, the District of Columbia, and two Indian reservations. At a minimum, resources are needed for the six additional states with approved programs.

Learn More

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Public Policy Priorities

See the issues we're fighting for in the 113th Congress, including the budget, Older Americans Act, and long-term services and supports.

Find Food Programs


Get help paying for healthy foods using our online SNAP Map