Last month, NFESH CEO Enid Borden was a keynote speaker at a conference on affordable housing. There was much concern in our office that a speech about senior hunger seemed out of place at such a conference. We couldn’t have been more wrong. There are tens of thousands of seniors nationwide residing in affordable housing units who face the real and ongoing threat of hunger. Many, if not all, are the hidden hungry.
NFESH-commissioned annual research identifies factors that place seniors at risk of being threatened by hunger. Here are some of the key indicators: being low income (up to 200% of poverty); residing in a rental property; being female; not being married; being a minority. The first two indicators apply to all of the individuals who reside in affordable housing units. As Enid spoke, it seems, light bulbs were turning on in the heads of many in the audience.
At the conclusion of remarks, Enid was approached by many who had additional questions and ideas. The end of her speech was just the beginning of what we hope and believe will be an on-going relationship focused on finding ways to assure that the seniors residing in affordable housing – and whose incomes are limited – have regular access to nutritious and affordable meals too.
The dialogue has just begun, but the wheels are turning. Over the course of the next few months, as we continue to work to achieve this common goal between the “affordable housing folks” and the “antihunger folks” as one conference attendee put it, we will be including articles in this newsletter about housing. That way, as we continue to get acquainted with our new collaborators and the people they serve, you will too.
It’s all about ending senior hunger and finding innovative and effective ways to achieve that goal.