The Escalating Issue of Hunger Among Older Adults

Our nation's senior population is growing and changing rapidly.

map of hunger among older adults in U.S.1 in 4 Americans is 60 years of age or older, with 12,000 more turning 60 every day. Among Americans age 60 and older, 13% are veterans, 29% have a disability, and 39% live alone. This population is set to reach 93 million in the next decade, with 118 million people reaching age 65 by 2060 — increasing the number of seniors today by more than half. And, older Americans of color will continue to make up an increasingly larger portion of this population. 

They are at greater risk of hunger and malnutrition. Currently, about 10 million seniors are threatened by or are experiencing hunger. 

Older Americans are living longer with less money

Seniors on fixed incomes are especially vulnerable to increases in inflation and cost of living. The U.S. is currently experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years; of seniors living alone, one in two lack the income to pay for even their basic needs.

seniors are at greater risk of hunger and malnutrition

people of color chartToo many seniors find it challenging to access healthy food or cook nutritious meals. In fact, about 10 million older adults in America face hunger every day, and for people of color, those numbers are much higher as food insecurity is disproportionately affecting older adults of color.

Not only that, but the risk of malnutrition is increased due to various factors that come up as we age, such as decreased appetite, limited mobility and dietary restrictions. 

what does Meals on Wheels actually deliver?

It starts with the meal and enables us to deliver on so much more that our aging neighbors need.  

Nutritious meals create an opportunity to build a relationship and strengthen bonds with each individual. That opens the door for local programs to identify and deliver valuable services that promote independence and well-being. Regular meal delivery from Meals on Wheels, whether in the comfort of the home or at a community dining site, provides tailored nutrition, social connection, safety and more.


Learn more about what meals on wheels delivers to adults who are homebound due to age or disability.


Or, check out a snapshot of all we accomplished in 2023: