It’s estimated some 81,000 Iowans older than 60 are food insecure, meaning they do not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. A gathering in Des Moines is examining this issue.
The day-long hunger summit is co-sponsored by a coalition of groups working on food issues within Iowa’s older population called Growing Bolder, and AARP. The event’s coordinator, Linda Gobberdiel, says among the state’s seniors there’s a stigma attached to asking for help, which brings challenges to making sure they’re eating properly.
“Convincing them that if they get the food they need and the nutrition they need, it will actually help them remain independent and have a higher quality of life,” she says.
Gobberdiel says hungry seniors often live in the shadows.
“When we think about hunger, we think more around children, and we don’t necessarily thing about our grandmas and grandpas being hungry and at risk," she says. "So, we really want to raise awareness.”
Gobberdiel says among the topics to be discussed at the Growing Bolder Hunger Summit is the future of Growing Bolder itself, which operates out of the Iowa Department of Public Health.