I am shocked that more people are not aware of how many older adults in our community are hungry, while legislators ignore the issue.
Richland County has 99,013 senior citizens, with 33,200 of them living in poverty and 18,200 hungry. You could fill the Colonial Life Arena with those 18,200 hungry older adults.
Organizations such as Senior Resources do an excellent job: Volunteers deliver more than 500 meals to Meals on Wheels clients every day. But what about the other 17,700?
There are many reasons senior citizens face hunger: physical frailty that can make grocery store trips and opening canned goods impossible; inadequate income; and lack of public awareness.
There are at least three things you can do to help change these embarrassing statistics: Donate an hour of your time to Meals on Wheels; donate money; make sure that elected representatives support increased — not decreased — funding for senior nutrition programs.
Once spring semester is over (soon!), I plan to become a Meals on Wheels volunteer. I hope you will join me. You can learn more about volunteering at seniorresourcesinc.org/volunteer.