(Indianapolis, Ind.) The Elders At the Table (EAT) Coalition announced today that it will hold a summit addressing the issue of senior hunger in Indiana on Wednesday, November 2, the first of its kind in our state. EAT is an initiative of the Central Indiana Senior Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
According to the AARP, there has been a 115 percent increase in the number of older Americans facing hunger in the last four years. Pride, an inability to connect with community resources, and a lack of access to transportation are just some of the factors that are putting seniors at risk for hunger and poor nutrition.
Other reasons why more seniors are going hungry include living alone, health issues, and depleted savings. Financial constraints alone are not always a cause of senior hunger and poor nutrition. A recent Meals on Wheels Association of America study found that nationwide, only 38 percent of seniors at risk of hunger have incomes below the federal poverty line.
Indiana has acutely felt the pain of senor hunger, with the Meals on Wheels Association of America ranking the Hoosier state 12th in the nation with the most “food insecure” seniors. “Food insecure” is defined as older individuals who find themselves unsure when they might have their next meal or might have access to food. Currently, an estimated 745,000 Hoosier adults over the age of 60 are considered potentially food insecure.
“Seniors suffer hunger in silence,” said Susan Ellis, director of the EAT Coalition. “That’s why we are bringing businesses, academics, not-for-profit organizations and citizens together for a spirited dialogue, so we can collectively identify innovative solutions to this very challenging problem.”
The Nov. 2 summit will feature keynote remarks by Bob Blancato, executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Founded in 1977, the NANASP is recognized as a leading organization that advocates for community-based senior nutrition initiatives. The summit also will include a panel discussion led by coalition member Orion Bell, president and CEO of CICOA Aging & In Home Solutions. During the summit, EAT plans to recognize individuals, businesses and organizations who have demonstrated exemplary efforts in assisting older adults. The categories are: Friend in Government, Business, Advocates and Outreach.
The cost to attend the summit is $20. Reservation information can be found on the EAT website at www.eatcoalition.org.
What: Indiana Senior Hunger Summit
When: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Marriott East
7202 East 21st Street
Founded in 2007, the EAT Coalition consists of 26 not-for-profit organizations and food service providers who are dedicated to curbing senior hunger in central Indiana. EAT is an initiative of the Central Indiana Senior Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. For more information on EAT and its coalition members, or to register for the summit, please visit www.eatcoalition.org.
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