The AARP Foundation, in a 2011 report, "Hunger Among Older Americans Spikes," announced that the number of Americans 50 and older at risk of hunger totaled almost 9 million. The National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging reports that "one out of every four older Americans suffer from poor nutrition" and emphasizes that the problem is not just a lack of food, but also that some seniors "simply cannot afford to buy the kind of food that could help keep them healthy." After all, even if many of us—at any age—can afford a few burgers a day off the value menu of any fast food chain, we understand that wouldn't be the healthy choice. Eating until we're full does not always mean eating well. For seniors, poor nutrition or malnutrition can lead to serious weight fluctuations (up or down), other diseases, greater frailty, and more frequent visits to physicians.
It is in that context that community gardens have become, literally, a growing asset to those looking to combat hunger. Tennessee's senior centers are taking this strategy to heart.
Sound like something your community or senior center could use? Learn from the Lake County Senior Center's project.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Make your SNAP card go farther in Tennessee thanks to AARP Foundation. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables!