Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne recently participated in the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Senior Hunger Roundtable in Harrisburg.
Stakeholders, legislators, healthcare professionals, and seniors discussed the resources available to combat hunger in older adults and ways to increase access to healthful, nutritious foods.
The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger reports seniors who are food insecure have diets that are less nutritious, endure worse health outcomes, and experience a higher risk for depression.
Research has shown that when seniors participate in programs that address food insecurity, they become more independent because of improved nutrition status and overall health.
In September 2016, “Setting the Table: Blueprint for a Hunger-Free PA” was developed to address hunger in Pennsylvania and respond to Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order establishing the Governor’s Food Security Partnership.
The partnership includes the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services.
The blueprint was developed in collaboration with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and other public, charitable, and private leaders in food security.
“Hunger harms everyone that it touches, but it is particularly hard on older Pennsylvanians, who often face their struggles quietly and out of view,” said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
“We just want our older neighbors to know that we care about them and we are here to help, and so are our friends in the Governor’s Partnership.”
For more information on the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, visit www.centralpafoodbank.org or call (717) 564-1700.