Study shows increase of seniors at food pantries

Posted at: 12/30/2012 8:21 AM
By: Cadence Acquaviva

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A new study shows more seniors at food pantries and soup kitchens than 25 years ago, with emergency food programs evolving into supplemental sources for households needing ongoing help.

The study by Hunger Action Network, based on 560 surveys out of 2,500 sent in September to programs statewide, shows seniors comprising 20 percent of their visitors, compared with 4 percent in 1987.

About one-third in the new study were children. In the survey 25 years earlier, 52 percent were under 18.

The report notes less than half of program visitors receiving food stamps, though most are income-eligible.

About two-thirds of pantries and kitchens report a drop in food donations, though 89 percent say they served more people last year, and 40 percent they've had had to turn some people away.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)