Senior Hunger in Central Indiana
By Susan Ellis, Director, Elders At the Table
Imagine your golden years, surrounded by the people and things that you love. Imagine good meals with friends, filled with nourishment that keeps your mind young and body strong. Now, reconcile the image with reality. The constraints of living on a fixed income, depleted savings, and a lack of transportation are just some of the factors contributing to seniors going hungry in Central Indiana.
Seniors suffer hunger in silence. It is estimated that nationwide, 50.6 percent of households with seniors age 65 and older experience low food security. Another 14.4 percent experience very low food security. Hoosier organizations – such as Central Indiana’s CICOA Aging and In Home Solutions, which delivers meals to local organizations for seniors – are seeing an uptick in requests for help. In fact, CICOA reports that numbers at the neighborhood meal sites grew from 6,000 meals a month to 10,000 in the past few months.
Watch this 30-second video, “Eat Dream”:
Senior hunger is a problem 365 days a year. In Central Indiana we have formed Elders At the Table, an initiative of the Indianapolis Retirement Home Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. We are a coalition of local food service providers and organizations dedicated to eliminating senior hunger in Central Indiana. EAT is working to create a better system that allows older adults options for stretching their food dollars and ease in connecting with food services. We also are committing to raising awareness of this critical need in our communities.
On Sunday, November 7, EAT will host the Spirit & Place event “Just Like Grandma Made,” where we’ll feature recipes – and the stories behind them – from local celebrities, coalition members and seniors. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a sampling of the food, as well as join in a discussion about the ancestral impact of food in our culture. We’ll also share more details about Elders At the Table, and ways you can help solve this problem. All of the recipes will be complied into a cookbook that will be distributed free of charge.