Here's how the word "hunger" is defined for policy purposes in the US:
"an inadequate amount of food intake due to lack of money or resources" or "the mental or physical condition that comes from not eating enough food due to insufficient economic, family, or community resources."And here's what hunger among seniors looked like, back in 2008, before any cuts to Social Security, and before recent fuel price hikes and food price increases.
A 2009 analysis of the data by Meals on Wheels showed:
There is a discernable upward trend in the number of seniors facing hunger risk over the sample period, rising by about 700,000 to 3 million seniors between 2001 and 2007.It was even worse by 2012:
Of food insecure seniors, over 38 percent have incomes below the poverty line, and although poverty status is a clear correlate of hunger risk, the problem is by no means restricted to the poor. For example, one in seven food insecure households have annual incomes above twice the poverty line.
Wahlstrom is part of a group experts call “the hidden hungry.“ In 2010, 8.3 million Americans over 60 faced the threat of hunger – up 78 percent from a decade earlier, according to a 2012 report. The proportion of the seniors affected has grown to one in seven in 2010 from one in nine in 2005 — even as the hunger risk for the population as a whole declined slightly, the report found.The people who rely on this money, as Elizabeth Warren puts it:
The growth in food insecurity tracks a larger trend in poverty: While the official poverty rate among seniors 65 and older was 9 percent in 2010, a broader poverty measure released by the Census Bureau last year puts the rate at nearly 16 percent –- or roughly one in six seniors.
"aren't stashing their Social Security checks in the Cayman Islands and buying vacation homes in Aruba – they are hanging on by their fingernails."So, here's my question for the President:
Why, Mr. President are you standing at the edge of the cliff with those nail clippers?
If 16% of seniors are already receiving too little money to feed themselves regularly, what percentage will fall into that category when their checks fall even further behind inflation?
Make the Call!
DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th
(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. joanneleon (An Yves Smith article republished with permission)
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Friday April 12
1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find email contact information here
2. Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!". Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Email contact page is here.
3. Petitions. There are a number of petitions available. Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.
a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
4. Social Media. Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary. Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.
[It isn't obvious who's coordinating the blog-a-thon, so I just used the "Hell No" title and hope someone will add it to the list]