Group hopes to bridge senior “SNAP” gap

(Photo Supplied/Indiana News Service)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): More than 7 million, or 40 percent, of seniors eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have not applied, and the numbers are even lower in the Hoosier State.

The National Council on Aging has an effort underway to close the “SNAP Gap,” to get those folks access to healthier food, instead of relying on food banks. Thirteen percent of Indiana’s food bank clients are more than 60 years old.

Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry says many seniors aren’t getting healthy food they need because they just can’t afford it.

“Seventy-seven percent of them know that they’re buying cheaper and unhealthy food because it’s what they are able to afford,” she said. “About half of them are receiving help from family and friends when they’re able. About a quarter of them are actually gardening or growing food in a community garden to offset that.”

Weikert Bryant says a quarter of Indiana households have one family member who’s over 60, and many of those homes have small children as well. The average amount a senior who does collect SNAP gets just $110 a month. She says that means they have just over a dollar to spend on each meal.

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