The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger’s annual State of Senior Hunger in America report released today puts Louisiana among the top three states, behind Mississippi and Arkansas, for seniors threatened with hunger The report found 23.7 percent of Louisianans aged 60 or older struggle to put food on the table.
“Senior hunger is a crisis in Louisiana,” according to David Coffman, Executive Director for the Louisiana Food Bank Association. “Research has shown seniors facing hunger are at increased risk for depression, heart attacks, and a host of other costly diseases.” A report from Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger has shown food insecure seniors are 60% more likely to face depression and 53% more likely to report a heart attack.
“Food insecurity has tremendous impact on health care costs for Louisiana’s seniors,” said Coffman. “Louisiana cannot afford to continue down this path, we must address this crisis.”
The rate of senior hunger has held constant hovering near 24 percent for the past three years according to the report. “This report should serve as a warning for Louisiana,” said Coffman. “This is a dangerous trend that must be addressed through smart policies that support seniors and provides resources necessary so that our neighbors can lead healthy lives as they age.”
“Louisiana’s food banks face a constant battle to obtain enough food to distribute to Louisianans struggling to make ends meet,” according to Coffman. “With more than one in five of Louisiana’s seniors struggling to put food on Louisiana’s leaders must take action.”