A study of hunger in New York showed that seniors make up 20 percent of people who visit food pantries and soup kitchens.
The national rate was about one-third of all visitors to receive free food and meals were senior citizens, the report today from Hunger Action, an Albany-based group said.
In Hunger Action’s first survey in 1987, 4 percent were seniors and 52 percent were under age 18. Now, about one-third were children, the group said.
This year’s report surveyed 560 food pantries and soup kitchens in New York last fall. More than two-thirds said they had a drop in food donations this year, but most said they are serving more people than last year.
AARP, according to the report, has estimated that the number of Americans over age 50 threatened by hunger increased 79 percent between 2001 and 2009, to about 9 million people.
Hunger Action is pushing for most state and federal aid for poverty programs. The group also wants an increase in New York’s minimum wage, which is now $7.25 an hour. Democrats want to increase it to $8.50.