Food Insecurity: Hunger Amongst Senior Citizens in Our Community
Mermel, Virginia (Faculty Mentor)
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The Honors Capstone course, Honors 499, has been taught approximately every other year for the past six years. The course focuses on ways to help fight food insecurity among people in our community. Each class chooses to address a specific aspect of food insecurity (see Table 1). The Spring 2020 class, in particular, chose to focus on food insecurity among senior citizens. After a decade of decline, hunger is a growing problem in specific sectors of America due to the increasing income gap between service sector jobs and skilled labor, higher birth rates among the lowest compared to the highest income groups and increasing proportion of the population age 55 and above. It can be seen in any community, including Billings, Montana. This paper examines the risk factors of senior food insecurity, the physical and economic consequences of inadequate food intake, and local and federal aid programs aimed at reducing food insecurity amongst older residents. It also includes our plans to fight food insecurity by partnering college students with local food security non-profits, spreading awareness, and sharing resources through advertising, healthy recipes, and a press conference.