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Center for Poverty Research to study senior hunger in America
Date:9/28/2007

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research has received a major research grant from the Meals On Wheels Association of America Foundation (MOWAAF) to study the economic and demographic causes, consequences, and future of senior hunger in America.

James Ziliak, Gatton Endowed Chair of Microeconomics and director of the Center for Poverty Research at UK, part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, will serve as co-principal investigator along with Craig Gundersen of Iowa State University. Meg Haist, a UKCPR post doctorate fellow in public policy, will serve as a senior researcher on the six-month, $200,000 project.

The proportion of elders in the American population will increase at a much faster rate than other age groups over the coming decades. Along with increasing numbers, there will be a sharp increase in the proportion of elders who are over the age of 85. This age group is currently about three million. By 2050, it is estimated that more than 19 million Americans will be in this category.

"The Meals On Wheels Association of America Foundation is particularly interested in this group since the organization's mission is to promote awareness about the existence of hunger among older Americans and to support local senior nutrition programs that provide meals to these older Americans," Ziliak said.

Hunger due to limited economic resources is a serious threat facing hundreds of thousands of seniors in America, according to Ziliak and Gundersen. In 2005, 1.8 percent of persons over the age of 60 suffered from very low food security; among persons with incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line the figure is substantially higher – 5.9 percent.

According to an Economic Research Service report, six percent of elders in the U.S. in 2005 reported that during the previous year they were uncertain of having, or were unable to acquire, enough food for all their households because they had insufficie
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Contact: Carl Nathe
carl.nathe@uky.edu
859-257-1754
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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