Seniors being hungry is a nationwide epidemic.

Time recently published an article reminding Americans of a growing problem facing seniors. Millions of seniors across the country quietly go hungry as the safety net designed to catch them frays. Nearly 8% of Americans 60 and older were “food insecure” in 2017, according to a recent study released by the anti-hunger group Feeding America. When you are food insecure, it means that there is “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways,” as defined by a study published in The Journal of Nutrition.

The impact of being food insecure is significant. AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of more than $130 billion every year due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for food insecurity is due to seniors who live in poverty.

One resource available for older low-income Americans is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”). Three out of five seniors who qualify for SNAP do not participate. This means that in excess of 5 million seniors miss out on benefits

In Nevada, if a senior has little or no money and needs help right away, they may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits within 7 business days. SNAP applications are processed through the State of Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. The amount of SNAP benefits you receive is based on the USDA Thrifty Food Plan, which is an estimate of how much it costs to buy food to prepare nutritious, low-cost meals for your household. The estimate is updated every year to keep pace with food prices.

If you know of a senior who may qualify for SNAP but hasn’t applied, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to assist with the application at no charge.

For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.