Right now, more than 1 in 7 senior citizens — some 8.3 million Americans — face the threat of hunger. From 2001 to 2010, the number of senior citizens affected by hunger jumped 78%. Why the sudden growth in struggling seniors? The country’s economic struggles have been well-documented. But this stress has been compounded by the aging of our Baby Boomers, who may live longer than their parents, but perhaps no better. Between 2010 and 2030, the senior citizen population of the US will nearly double, to 72 million people.
Here in Washington, we deliver balanced meals to emergency shelters, residential facilities, and nonprofits that support aging adults. But we know that aging is not just a local issue. That’s why our national network, The Campus Kitchens Project, is specially focused on alleviating hunger among senior citizens.
Across the country, our student volunteers prepare healthy meals for at-risk senior citizens – and their efforts are getting noticed. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging awarded the Campus Kitchen at Gettysburg College the 2012 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nutrition for Older Pennsylvanians. And CKP gives senior citizens opportunities to engage and support their communities, recruiting active seniors for volunteer activities and promoting intergenerational service and learning.
“Serving Up Food and Life 101,” AARP News, November 20, 2011