NEW Resource for people working with older adults at risk of hunger

In 2017, 5.5 million people age 60 and older were food insecure. The MPH@Baylor program has created a guide with excellent data and ideas on how to open the dialogue about food assistance with older adults. You can find the guide HERE

End Hunger Durham works directly with seniors in low-income housing. If you would like to get involved contact Betsy Crites at

Click here for a downloadable 2-page Fact Sheet on Senior Hunger.

Senior Food and Nutrition Committee

As part of the Durham Partnership for Seniors, EHD establish the committee to increase collaboration among organizations working in the field and promote greater awareness among the public about the problem of hunger among low income seniors.


POLICY:  In 2018, we held informational sessions for social service agencies and generated buzz for the NC DHHS to apply for a waiver for the Elderly Simplified Assistance Project (ESAP). This will streamline the application and recertification process for adults 60+ to enroll in SNAP. NCDHHS agreed to apply and is now waiting for USDA approval of the waiver.

We are now focused on the Closing the Meal Gap bill2019 introduced by N.C. Congresswoman Alma Adams. Visit our policy page for a description.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING: This committee spawned the Golden Life Partnership, which organizes residents in low-income apartment complexes to improve their health and well-being, starting with adequate nutritious food and healthcare. We also work on transportation and other factors that affect food and health. On location, the programs are called Healthy Seniors and Food Talk. We work in Durham Hosiery Mill Apts., Preiss-Steele, and Forest Hills Heights.

LOCAL PLANNING: Introduced food and nutrition as a critical consideration for the Master Aging Plan being developed for Durham. The Community Support & Health System / Senior Hunger & Nutrition working group has set numerous objectives under the goal to “Ensure access to sufficient nutritious food.”

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL:  In collaboration with NCCARE360, EHD is the main agency receiving referrals for emergency food. We quickly send them to the food services that can best meet their needs.

What is ESAP?

The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a demonstration project that seeks to increase participation among the elderly low-income population by streamlining the application and certification process. A waiver is granted to states to conduct a demonstration project for a period of five years.

The simplified application process would be limited to persons 60 and older with no earned income, although some projects also include disabled households with no earned income.

Specifically, the demonstration project waives the recertification interview requirement, makes use of data matches to reduce the amount of client-provided verification, and extends the certification period to 36 months. ESAP demonstration projects also often make use of a simplified two-page application.

End Hunger Durham has convened several organizations concerned about senior hunger to learn more about ESAP and advocate for the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, which submitted a waiver request to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in June 2019. It was accepted and the program will hopefully roll out in 2021.

Check our policy page for updates.

Screen and Intervene: Addressing Food Insecurity Among Older Adults

Developed by FRAC and the AARP Foundation, this free, online course is designed for health care providers and community-based partners working with older adults. While the focus is on older adults, much of the information and many of the strategies are relevant across the lifespan.

In just 60 minutes, learners will learn how to:

  • Define food insecurity;
  • Identify the risk factors for food insecurity among older adults;
  • Identify the negative health outcomes that food-insecure patients may face;
  • Use the Hunger Vital Sign™ screening tool; and
  • Connect individuals to SNAP, additional nutrition resources, and community partners.

The course also includes downloadable resources that can readily be used in clinical settings. Continuing education credit is available, too, for medical doctors, dietitians, and other health care professionals.