Nearly 14 percent of New Jersey’s 1.5 million senior citizens face hunger each year – translating to about 230,000 older residents who don’t have enough food to eat.
These seniors regularly face the terrible choice of buying food, paying the electric bill or paying for medications. People with disabilities face similar hardships.
Hunger hurts the health of our senior citizens – and causes increased spending on health care and medications. Yet for many seniors and people with disabilities who qualify for NJ SNAP (food stamps), assistance do not receive it.
National studies have found that as few as 42 percent of eligible senior receive SNAP.
Changing state policies to make it easier for seniors to apply for and receive SNAP makes sense from a human, health and fiscal perspective.
Changes should include:
- Streamlining the application process,
- Conducting outreach to ensure all eligible seniors have access to SNAP,
- Implementing a standard medical deduction to make more struggling seniors eligible.
Providing seniors with healthy food helps to reduce illness and medical costs, while providing a better quality of life for our oldest residents.
View and download our fact sheet on senior hunger in NJ.