Hunger is a reality for many of our state’s older adults.

When older people reduce their food intake because of physical or financial restrictions, they risk their ability to maintain an independent, healthy lifestyle. Hunger increases the risk of stroke, aggravates pre-existing health conditions, limits the usefulness of many prescription medications, and may affect brain chemistry, increasing the incidence of depression and isolation.

Many older adults skip meals so they can pay their monthly bills. There are times when some have to decide between buying food and purchasing needed medications.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, can help lessen those hardships by providing a way for older adults to obtain the healthy food they need.

Free, confidential, one-on-one SNAP application assistance is available in nearly every county in the state and all boroughs of New York City through the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP).

Hunger Solutions New York manages NOEP in nearly every county in New York State and throughout all boroughs of New York City, through subcontracts with 52 community-based agencies. NOEP Coordinators prescreen people who are potentially eligible for SNAP, and help those who are eligible to gather documentation for, complete and submit the SNAP application. All services are free and confidential. For more information, visit FoodHelpNY.org.