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Georgia Embarks on a Senior Hunger Initiative
The latest research indicated in 2014 that Georgia was ranked 9th in food insecurity* nationally among those age 60 and older. There was a strong desire to address this alarming statistic by Gov. Nathan Deal, the First Lady Sandra Deal and the Department of Human Services Commissioner, Robyn A. Crittenden. A critical early move was the inclusion of hosting a Senior Hunger Summit to identify the hunger issues in Georgia as a goal of Georgia’s 2015-2019 State Plan on Aging.
Georgia’s Senior Hunger Summit
Georgia’s first Senior Hunger Summit held in 2016 brought together experts, stakeholders, and policymakers to prepare Georgia’s first State Plan to Address Senior Hunger. After the 2016 Summit, 12 regional listening sessions were held in the planning and service areas of the state aging network that formed the basis of the recommendations for the state plan that was unveiled at the second Senior Hunger Summit and published in December 2017.
The fourth Senior Hunger Summit was held on June 18, 2019, in Savannah, GA. This year’s Summit centered on the five focus areas of the State Plan. The goal of the summit was to identify the barriers to, and associated risks of, senior hunger, learn about senior hunger statistics nationally and within Georgia, hear from members of the Georgia legislature on addressing senior hunger, engage in a variety of networking opportunities, leverage partnerships to combat senior hunger, and share best practices in addressing senior hunger.
Georgia’s State Plan to Address Senior Hunger
The five areas that were selected in addressing senior hunger in Georgia are: Today’s Seniors, Health Impact of Senior Hunger, Food Access, Food Waste and Reclamation, and Meeting the Community’s Needs. The recommendations are summarized as establishing a senior hunger position, develop 12 regional coalitions, establish policy review council, coordinate data collection and analysis, develop and offer education and training, continue and expand the What a Waste Program and provide entrepreneurial mini-grants.
To learn more about Georgia’s State Plan to Address Senior Hunger, contact the Georgia Senior Hunger Nutrition Coordinator.
*A person or household is considered food insecure when facing the threat of hunger and lacking safe and adequate food to sustain health and quality of life and is unsure of access or the capability to obtain suitable foods in socially acceptable ways. [Anderson SA, J Nutr.1990; 120: 1557S–1600S]