Write A Letter - Senior Hunger
Dear Senator/Representative/Governor _____________________________,
I am writing to ask for your support of increased food stamp outreach to seniors and increased commodity food distribution through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Millions of American seniors face hunger and malnutrition because they cannot afford to purchase healthy foods. Rising utility, housing, gasoline, and health care costs have forced many seniors on fixed incomes to make the difficult choice between purchasing food or other necessities. Seniors are cutting down on meals and eating less nutritious food in order to make ends meet. Hunger and malnutrition result in health problems that reduce seniors’ quality of life, self-sufficiency, and financial security. We must fulfill our responsibility to our elders by ensuring that they can obtain adequate amounts of nutritious food. In our land of plenty, there is no excuse for vulnerable seniors to be hungry.
The federal Food Stamp Program is the cornerstone of government-funded food assistance for low-income Americans. However, outreach to seniors is inadequate as evidenced by the fact that eligible older Americans have the lowest participation rate of any group that qualifies for food stamp benefits. Government and non-profits need to do more to inform seniors about the benefits they can receive from the Food Stamp Program. In addition, states should simplify their food stamp applications and provide multiple ways for seniors to complete the application process. Alternatives to in-person interviews at social service departments must be available for seniors who are disabled or homebound. The Emergency Food Assistance Program is another critical government program that helps hungry seniors. TEFAP distributes nutritious commodity foods such as high protein items, fruit juices, and canned fruits and vegetables. This program should be bolstered to help both people in need of short-term emergency hunger relief and those who require on-going supplemental food.
I greatly appreciate your attention to the issue of hunger and its impact on seniors. I look forward to your reply regarding whether you will support legislation and policy changes that work toward eliminating hunger for the senior population.
____________________ (Printed or typed name)