Report: Increasing number of Kentucky’s seniors are going hungry

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A new report out ranks Kentucky sixth in the nation when it comes to seniors who are food insecure.

The Kentucky Association of Food Banks released The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2016, a study about food insecurity among seniors in the United States.

According to the report the food insecurity rate for seniors in Kentucky is 10.8, the sixth highest rate in the nation.

The report says nationally, seniors with the lowest incomes are most at risk of being food insecure, yet about two-thirds of food-insecure seniors have income above the federal poverty line. As a result, many seniors likely do not qualify for federal nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Other findings from the report:

* Seniors who are racial or ethnic minorities, low-income or younger vs. older (age 60-69 vs. age 80+) were most likely to be affected by some level of food insecurity.
* Seniors who reported a disability were disproportionately affected, with 24 percent reporting food insecurity.
* Senior food insecurity rates vary by state, ranging from 3.4% in North Dakota to 14.1% in Louisiana. Kentucky, with 10.8% of seniors food insecure, falls in the highest end of that range.
* Seniors living in the South are more likely to experience food insecurity than seniors living in other parts of the country.

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