Increase in Senior Hunger Accelerated by Recession

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Increase in Senior Hunger Accelerated by Recession

Publication of New Report Supported by HMS

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- HMS, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMS Holdings Corp. (NAS: HMSY) , applauded today the release of a new report the company helped support. Spotlight on Senior Hunger is based on research commissioned and underwritten by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). The report examines the growth of senior hunger in the United States, finding that the number of food insecure seniors—those who may not know where they will find their next meal—above the age of 60 has more than doubled to 4.8 million from 2001 to 2011. The report also reveals that the rate of senior hunger has increased over the past decade due largely to the recession.

Spotlight on Senior Hunger—released jointly by the NFESH and Feeding America—confirms the number of food insecure seniors in 2011 was 50% higher than before the recession in 2007. The aging baby boomer generation experienced the highest percentage of food insecurity among seniors, with 65% of all food insecure seniors qualifying as baby boomers (age 60-69), in contrast to 12% of food insecure seniors age 80 or older.

"The numbers do not lie," said Enid Borden, founder, president, and CEO of NFESH. "I have been working on this issue for more than 20 years and each year it only gets worse, and how rapidly it has gotten worse is a cause for particular concern; 4.8 million seniors is equal to the population of the city of Cleveland. This reality is absolutely unacceptable, and we intend to work with partners like Feeding America not only in an effort to put an end to senior hunger but also to prevent it from happening in the first place. We are focused on finding the solutions to break the lifecycle of hunger. This new report shows how urgent that work is."

"Seniors who have worked hard throughout their lives to contribute to our country should not have to worry about finding their next meal," said Feeding America President and CEO Bob Aiken. "Together with our partners, our national network of food banks is addressing today's growing need while also working to help solve hunger among this vulnerable population."

"NFESH, Feeding America, and HMS share much in common," said Tracy South, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at HMS. "All three organizations promote the health of at-risk people. We're proud to work together to provide more information about senior hunger in America."

Spotlight on Senior Hunger is based on new research conducted by Dr. James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen of the University of Illinois. The researchers documented the state of hunger among senior Americans age 60 and older in 2011 using data from the Core Food Security Module (CFSM) in Current Population Study (CPS). The CFSM is a series of questions, as part of the CPS, to which households respond each year. Each question is designed to capture some aspect of food insecurity. Respondents are asked about their food security status in the last 30 days as well as over the past 12 months.

About HMS

HMS powers the healthcare system with integrity. The company leads the nation in cost-containment services for healthcare payers, including Medicaid and Medicare. Each year HMS saves clients more than $10 billion, allowing healthcare resources to reach more people. Learn more about HMS at

About the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Through research, education, and community partnership, the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) harnesses the resources necessary to reverse the escalating number of seniors in the life cycle of hunger. For more information, visit

About Feeding America

Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, they provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve, educates the public about the problem of hunger, and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses, and government all have a role in ending hunger. Visit Find us on Facebook at or follow our news on Twitter at

Media Relations:
Francesca Marraro, 212-857-5442
Investor Relations:
Christine Saenz, 212-857-5986

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Texas


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