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New Mexico Seniors Not Getting Enough To Eat

Audio

Aired 6/12/13

One out of every five senior citizens in New Mexico isn't getting enough to eat, according to a report from the United Health Foundation.

— One out of every five senior citizens in New Mexico isn't getting enough to eat, according to a report from the United Health Foundation. New Mexico ranks 49th in the nation for food insecurity.

The America's Health Ranking Senior Report looks at general health and food insecurity, among other issues facing the aging population.

Lynne Anker-Unnever of New Mexico's Aging and Long-Term Services Department says state funding for senior services is inching up to pre-recession levels. But seniors get less in nutrition assistance than other age groups, like children, and they're often the providers for other family members.

"There are definitely a lot of extended families in New Mexico, grandparents raising grandchildren and the like, and I suspect if folks have a choice between feeding a grandchild and feeding themselves, they're going to feed the grandchild. So hunger is prevalent in our state, it's tied with the poverty rates," Anker-Unnever said.

Fifteen percent of the New Mexico's seniors live in poverty, and the rural nature of the state makes it hard for many seniors to access grocery stores.

Earlier this week another study found that New Mexico ranked first in the country in child hunger.

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