Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.


Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.


A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Millions of Older Adults Experience Food Insecurity


Thursday, September 29, 2022   

Some 35 million people in Wyoming and across the U.S. struggle to put food on the table, and older adults experiencing food insecurity face numerous chronic health risks.

Alexandra Ashbrook - director of root causes and specific populations with the Food Research and Action Center - said generally, older Americans experience less food insecurity.

But she said due to longstanding structural inequities, some are at greater risk than others.

"Older adults who are Black or Latinx or Native American face higher rates of food insecurity," said Ashbrook. "And older adults raising children, so-called 'grandfamilies,' face higher rates of food insecurity."

People living in rural areas and low-income households are also at greater risk of developing chronic illness associated with food insecurity - including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Many forgo medical care and medication to pay for food.

Ashbrook said the good news is that there are proven strategies for reducing food insecurity - including SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps.

Just 48% of older adults eligible for food assistance participate in SNAP, according to the most recent data.

Ashbrook said pride and the stigma associated with food stamps are major barriers. But she pointed out that Americans paid into the program their entire working lives in taxes to ensure that healthy, nutritious food is available in times of need.

"Older adults also may think that if they accept SNAP, that means someone else won't be able to access SNAP," said Ashbrook. "SNAP is actually a program that's available to anyone who meets eligibility. So it's not as if I participate in SNAP, I'm taking someone else's place."

Food insecurity among older adults living alone reached the highest rate in 20 years between 2020 and 2021, a time when fixed incomes were not able to keep up with rising costs.

Those adults were also not able to access the Child Tax Credit or other expanded federal programs.

Ashbrook noted that health care providers, a trusted resources for older adults, are well positioned to help if given proper tools and training.

"Identifying which patients are at risk of food insecurity," said Ashbrook, "and then connecting them to resources like SNAP, home delivered meals and congregate meals - health-care providers can play a role in addressing not only food insecurity but improving health and nutrition."

get more stories like this via email
The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …

Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …

Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…


A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …


An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021