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Louisiana Seniors Among Hungriest In The Nation

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Borya, Flickr

A recent study from the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger found that Louisiana has the sixth highest percentage of seniors who go hungry.

“Being number six on the list is obviously not very good,” NFESH President Enid Borden explained.  ”We don’t want anyone to have to be on the list.  The best thing we can hope for is no hunger in America, no senior hunger, and that is what we should aspire to.”

According to the study, 18.76% of Louisiana seniors go hungry.

“We’ve got to do something better.  We can solve this in the state of Louisiana,” continued Borden.  ”I think it is incumbent on everyone in Louisiana to realize that there is something they can do about it.”

The problem has actually gotten worse.  In 2011, 8.8 million seniors face hunger.  Nationally, senior hunger has increased by 88% since 2001 and 42% since the start of the Great Recession in 2007.

In other words, 1 in 9 seniors faced hunger in 2001.  But in 2011, that grew to 1 in 6.

Which age group is most affected?

“Those seniors who are most at risk of hunger are those seniors who are between the ages of 60 and 69,” stated Borden.  They account for 60% of all seniors facing hunger.

The study identifies high risk groups:

  • Baby Boomers, a high-population generation who account for the largest hungry age group.
  • Women —  16.6% of senior women faced the risk of hunger compared to 13.5% of senior men.
  • Poor or near poor — 62% of seniors who risked going hungry had incomes below 200% of the poverty line.

Which state has the most and least senior hunger?

Most senior hunger:

  1. Arkansas — 24.23%
  2. Mississippi — 20.49%
  3. Alabama — 20.34%
  4. Nevada — 18.8%
  5. Tennessee — 18.79%
  6. Louisiana — 18.76%
  7. Texas — 18.35%
  8. New Mexico — 18.05%
  9. Georgia — 17.52%
  10. South Carolina — 17.38%

Least senior hunger:

  1. Virginia — 8.41%
  2. Minnesota — 8.59%
  3. North Dakota — 9.3%
  4. New Hampshire — 9.98%
  5. Delaware — 10.14%
  6. Vermont — 10.77%
  7. Colorado — 10.87%
  8. Idaho — 10.87%
  9. Wisconsin — 11.01%
  10. Nebraska — 11.17%

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