Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, says hunger among senior citizens is on the rise and he wants more money spent on senior meals programs.
Since the recession began, there has been increased demand for senior meals programs. For about $5 a day, seniors get a hot, nutritious meal and a visit from a volunteer who checks their well-being.
Ken Gordon of the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging-- one of the agencies that delivers senior meals-- testified Tuesday before Sanders' committee in Washington.
"The seniors who are served by this program have worked hard throughout their lives. They've paid taxes. They've responded to the call for military service. They've volunteered in their communities. And they've made possible the quality of life we all enjoy today. And now at the end of their lives they are struggling to make ends meet," Gordon said.
According to a report prepared for Sanders' committee, more than 5 million American seniors face the threat of hunger and 1 million a year go hungry.
Sanders says it makes more sense to invest in meals for seniors than in the much more costly hospital stays and home care that can result from poor nutrition.