Report: 7.5% of Vermont Seniors Are ‘Food Insecure’

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More than 8% of the senior population, or people over the age of 60 are food insecure in the U.S. That’s according to ‘The State of Senior Hunger’, a new report released by Feeding America.

“In Vermont it’s a little bit lower, we’re about 7.5% of our seniors and we know at the Vermont Food Bank that we are serving around 26,000 seniors every year,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO.

Sayles says food insecurity refers to the lack of access to enough nutritious food, which is usually has to do with money.

“Particularly seniors who are raising grandchildren have particular hard time and we know there is a lot of that going on in Vermont,” said Sayles.

There are several resources available across the state including senior centers where workers say, food insecurity is an issue they hear about on a daily basis.

“The biggest obstacle is if you don’t have a car and you live on the outskirts of town we do not have public transportation to get to and from the grocery store,” explained Carol Smith, Waterbury Senior Center Executive Director.

Smith says it serves meals to more than 55 seniors in five different towns daily, through meals on wheels.

Smith said, “Our main goal is to keep people living in their own homes so we deliver a meal every day at lunchtime along with a wellness and safety check.”

Other resources available in Vermont include 3SquaresVT, a food stamp outreach program for seniors and a federal ‘Commodity Box Program’ where seniors receive a box of food from the Vermont Food Bank. Sayles says the program helps around 2,000 Vermont seniors.

Sayles said, “It’s really important for seniors to get proper nutrition and get enough food… Mainly so that they feel good and are able to, you know a lot of them are still working to work and to be active members in their communities.”

There are other states in the Northeast region that are also experiencing high rates. Nearly 6% of the senior population in New Hampshire and New York with 10%.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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