Hunger A Tragic Reality For Too Many Senior Citizens

November 20, 2009
For Immediate Release

Hunger A Tragic Reality For Too Many Senior Citizens

The Meals on Wheels Association of America released a report yesterday documenting the tragic reality of  hunger among senior citizens.  “Senior Hunger in the United States: Differences Across States and Rural and Urban Areas” reveals the tragic reality that hunger and malnutrition continue to be significant problems for older Americans. 

Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Aging stated “I am dismayed that too many older New Yorkers continue to struggle to put food on the table.  We should be horrified that our older loved-ones have to worry about whether or not they are going to eat.”

According to the report, New York State ranks 28th out of 51 states. 5.03% of older New Yorkers are at risk of hunger.  Mississippi ranks first with the most seniors at risk of hunger and North Dakota ranks last with the fewest seniors at risk.

“During this time of year as we approach Thanksgiving, we all become more aware of our friends and neighbors in need.  But people need to eat every day, not just during the holidays”, stated Senator Díaz.  “As New York State continues to wrestle with a growing budget deficit, it is clear from this report that funding must not be reduced for programs that feed older New Yorkers.  In fact, we must do more, not less,” continued Senator Díaz.

Senator Díaz has introduced legislation that would eliminate waiting lists for home delivered meals for senior citizens (S3340-D).  “The legislature should pass this bill immediately, as well as my other bills that will generate income for the New York State Treasury.  We can and must act immediately to eliminate the incidence of hunger among older New Yorkers”, Senator Díaz said.