Hunger is a hidden epidemic in many age groups. Those who are facing the stark reality of not having the money in the budget for groceries after the bills are paid, may not want to discuss that reality. They often suffer in silence, not letting on what they face on daily basis. Seniors in our area are no exception. They are faced with the same impossible choices of whether to buy food or get the medicine that their doctor says they need.
In Nevada, the rate of Senior hunger is one of the highest in the nation, in the top 10 states for the numbers of seniors facing this reality every day. In our state 10.7% of our seniors face this each day and many do so without letting anyone know. The other issue, is that many seniors don’t want to ask for the help that may make all of the difference.
This was true for Michele and her husband. They live on social security and with energy costs, other bills, managing her diabetes with a healthy diet was a real challenge without just a little help. Michele had a good career as a paralegal and then when she couldn’t work anymore, it became tough to make ends meet. They had saved, but like many others, lost quite a bit in 2008, without the extra working years to make up for the losses.
She was so reluctant to ask for the help and when she did, she cried and it was so difficult. Those feelings have turned to gratitude for the help that makes it possible for her and her husband to eat the foods that will keep them healthy.
Seniors have a difficult time changing the situation that they face and when health issues arise, the whole thing can seem so daunting and overwhelming. At the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, we encourage seniors facing these difficult choices to take the help that is available. There are programs like Golden Groceries, Produce on Wheels and the Senior Box Program (CSFP) that can help seniors access the healthy food they need. Click here to find more information on Senior Hunger and how to access these vital programs.