Reaching Hungry Seniors

SNAP in the News:  A Nutrition Safety Net for Seniors

Seniors at risk for hunger

Most seniors planned for their later years by saving money and relying on social security and retirement funds. Yet in this recession, seniors on fixed incomes have a difficult time making ends meet when the cost of living keeps going up. According the USDA more than 11% of seniors nationwide face the threat of hunger as they struggle to pay for rent, utilities and medication. Learn More

Older Oregonian Hunger Coalition:

A partnership with AARP Oregon is bringing together people from across the state to discuss hunger among older Oregonians. Learn more

SNAP helps seniors afford nutritious food

While overall SNAP participation is high in Oregon, less than half of eligible seniors (42%, 2012) are getting SNAP. Yet, the average benefit for a senior household in Oregon is about $90 per month.

PHFO held a series of focus groups in 2012 with participants at senior centers in Washington County. They identified a lack of information, as well as stigma issues, in preventing many eligible older adults from using SNAP benefits. Participants recommended use of messaging about the economic impact of SNAP dollars to help reduce stigma. For more information see our focus group summary or full report.

PHFO also conducted focus groups in 2008 to help identify reasons why so few seniors are participating. At the same time, the seniors indentified strategies on how to reach their peers who are in need of services.

Numerous outreach materials and tools were created to help reach older Oregonians with information about SNAP and their health.

Oregonians 60+ access SNAP through senior service offices. Call 211 or the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-673-2372 to find the nearest office, or find an office in your county HERE. Interviews can be done in person or over the phone. Seniors may find they also qualify for other services, such as health care, telephone assistance or Farmers Market Vouchers.