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Senior Food Insecurity Studies
Our research on food insecurity among seniors aims to identify the prevalence of senior hunger and to understand seniors' unique needs, characteristics, and risk factors. The research studies highlighted on this page are used to inform our programs and efforts to eliminate senior hunger.
The State of Senior Hunger in America
The State of Senior Hunger in America annual report series documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population age 60 and older in the United States. It identifies the geographic variation in food insecurity among seniors, providing data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The most recent report, released in 2019 using 2017 data, found that 5.5 million seniors, or 7.7% of the senior population, were food insecure in 2017. The rate of food insecurity among seniors is lower in recent years but remains significantly higher than it was in 2007. The current number of seniors who are food insecure is more than double what it was in 2001. State-level rates of food insecurity among seniors range from 2.8% in Minnesota to 12.3% in Louisiana. For the first time, the study now includes analysis of metropolitan areas, with senior food insecurity rates ranging from 3% in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to 17.3% in the Memphis area.
The 2019 release of the study also included the introduction of a new report: Hunger Among Adults Age 50-59 in 2017. Findings reveal that in 2017, an estimated 11.3%, or 4.8 million, of older adults age 50-59 are food insecure. At the state level, rates range from 4.1% in Colorado to 18.6% in Kentucky, and at the metropolitan area level, rates range from 5.3% in the Denver-Aurora area (CO) to 19.6% in the Hartford area (CT). With the senior population expected to grow in the decades to come, this analysis reveals the challenges faced today by millions of aging adults and provides insight into the future challenges that may be faced by the next generation of seniors.
This research was conducted by Dr. Craig Gundersen and Dr. James Ziliak using data from the Current Population Survey.
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         OPEN  YOUR  HEART

Challenge Yourself to End Hunger
Accept the 2017 Food Shelf Challenge from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless and The Pipestone County Food Shelf this July.
You can make a difference for hungry families in our community.
Minnesota summers were made for trips to the cabin, boat rides on the lake, and farmers market outings, not food shelf visits. But that’s the reality for thousands of Minnesotans. Children are home from school and the family budget is tight. The Pipestone County Food Shelf helps provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to these families and needs your help this summer.
We see an increase in child visits during the summer. When school is out for summer vacation, many children miss out on free school meals and their families turn to us for support.
Make a bigger impact on hunger in our community this July
Every day, Minnesotans make over 9,000 visits to food shelves statewide – that is six visits to a food shelf every minute. 
You can make a difference this year by donating throughout the month of July. The more you donate, the larger our food shelf’s grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will be. The challenge funds will proportionally match your donation. Your financial donation will go further due to our buying power. We can purchase food from our food bank for pennies on the pound.
Thank you Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless and Hunger Solutions Minnesota.
Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has targeted millions of dollars to strategically fight hunger in Minnesota. Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless funds the purchase and transfer of more than one million pounds of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products to food shelves every year. Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless also provides grants for food shelves and food banks to get the equipment they need—like freezers, shelving and trucks—to be able to serve the growing number of Minnesotans who can’t afford enough food for their families.
Hunger Solutions Minnesota is the statewide organization that coordinates this challenge grant opportunity. Hunger Solutions works to end hunger via the Minnesota Food HelpLine and by advancing fair public nutrition policies on behalf of hungry Minnesotans. Hunger Solutions also connects Minnesota’s food shelves with funding and technical assistance to support the 9,000 daily food shelf visits.



We invite you to view Second Harvest Heartland's  Annual Community Report, and be inspired by what you've helped them accomplish in 2020.

View the Annual Community Report

Second Harvest Heartland | 2020 Annual Report (

You'll lean more about the people facing hunger and the tough
choices they have to make, read about how Second Harvest is able to provide more fresh produce than ever before and discover the amazing number of meals you've helped them provide to our neighbors in need.

THANK YOU for joining us in our mission to end hunger through community partnerships.

The warehouses are the nerve centers of what they do, serving as hubs to receive and distribute donations large and small.  Learn a few fun facts about their operations, and take a virtual tour to see the warehouse in action.

Take the tour ---   A guided tour of Second Harvest Heartland's new Brooklyn Park facility - YouTube