More than 9 million older adults are at risk for hunger. Federal nutrition services for the most vulnerable Americans still aren’t getting needed investments. Help us protect these programs!

NEW! NCOA 2016 Issue Brief: Senior Hunger

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

How it helps

Over 4 million low-income adults aged 60+ rely on an average SNAP benefit of $110 per month to buy nutritious food. In 2013, SNAP lifted 4.3 million Americans out of poverty, including nearly 350,000 seniors.

What’s at stake

Only 2 out of 5 of seniors eligible for SNAP are enrolled in the program. Some seniors may not know about SNAP or how to enroll, or they may think that the application process is too difficult. 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 218 million meals to older adults in FY14. 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 increased by $20 million for FY16, and the Administration is requesting a $14 million increase for FY17, the increase for the upcoming year will only allow for serving an additional 1.3 million additional meals nationwide. OAA reauthorization also is long overdue.

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Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

How it helps

CSFP provides nutritious food to low-income Americans at less than half the average retail value. Approximately 570,000 seniors were served each month in 2015, with incomes of less than 130% of poverty.

What’s at stake

The CSFP is being transitioned to a seniors-only program. Funding maintains caseloads in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and two Indian Tribal Organizations.

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