Healthy Living Blog – Food Insecurity in Older Adults

Healthy Living Blog – Food Insecurity in Older Adults

Food insecurity is the lack of stable access to healthy food because of a lack of money. In 2018, 7% of older adults (5.3 million out of 72.6 million) were food insecure. Older adults who have poor health, can’t move around as often, and if they are low-income they are more likely to be food insecure. The COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders make it harder for older adults to get healthy food. They might be afraid of going outside their homes or they might have lost their jobs or income and can’t afford food.

Which older adults are more likely to face food insecurity?

If they are:

  • People of color, especially Black and Latinx older adults
  • Women
  • Disabled
  • Unemployed or low-income
  • Divorced, separated, or never married
  • Living with grandchildren

Food insecurity and health

Older adults who face food insecurity report poor physical and mental health. They are more likely to have chronic health conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Heart failure
  • Limited activity
  • High blood pressure

How can older adults access food during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • If you need food assistance right away, find your local food bank. You can also call 2-1-1 to obtain access to basic needs resources and community services.
  • CalFresh is California’s food stamps program.
    • This program gives food benefits to low-income individuals and families so that they can afford nutritious food.
    • Low-income and disabled older adults should apply to get benefits.
  • Home-delivered meals by Meals on Wheels.
  • Low-income older adults can check with their local food bank to see if they qualify for a food box. Food boxes can include canned fruits and veggies, grains, cereals, dried beans, cheese, and shelf-stable milk.

You can also connect with a Patient Navigator here at AACI Health Center if you need more support in accessing food and other resources!


Have questions or curious to learn more?  Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor.  AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!