Happy Saint Patrick's Day from the Trail!
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day so to one and all Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Olive and me and all the team walking the Empire State Trail to Feed America! Today I did 8 miles all by my lonesome from Red Hook up through Germantown and closing in on Olana. Although it was considered "on-road" it was a very peaceful walk along wooded country roads, through the small but lovely town of Germantown and out into some gorgeous farmland spreading far and wide. I was walking slightly in from the Hudson River and most of the homes I couldn't see but I saw the stone pillars, the gates and the fancy house names. I passed the huge estate of the Carmelite Sisters, passed a different McLean Avenue (appropriate on St. Patrick's Day!). Took a quick rest in a gazebo in Germantown and stopped to chat with some sheep along the way. We are more than 75% of the way to Albany (152 miles) and I'm looking forward to the home stretch over the next two weeks.
As America ages, hunger pains grow
The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 38% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050. And hunger pains can be increasingly painful as we age:
63% of senior households served by the Feeding America network are forced to choose between food and medical care.
Households served by the Feeding America network that includes an adult of the age 50 or older are at an increased risk of having someone with a chronic health condition, including diabetes (41%) and high blood pressure (70%) — conditions that can be mitigated by healthy food options.
Only 48% of eligible seniors are enrolled and receiving SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) — making assistance programs for SNAP enrollment that much more important for seniors.