The degree to which people experience food insecurity varies; from worrying about the ability to obtain food, to compromising on the quality and variety of food eaten, and more severely to reducing quantities and skipping meals altogether.
Older people, especially, face several barriers to eating well; including affordability and accessibility of food, limited food services, decreasing mobility, and lack of cooking skills.
In fact, Latest national figures from Age UK suggest that 1 in 7 older people (15%) are skipping meals.
So how can we support elderly populations experiencing food insecurity to access good food, given these barriers and the rising costs of living?
Use an Individual Approach
We value the dignity in practice approach, which enables people to participate in decision making processes, to have power to make choices about how and what they eat that are relevant and achievable for each individual.
Come Up with a Plan
Help older people to plan shopping to reduce waste and help with energy .
More Veg, Less Meat
Focus on recipes with more veg and less meat as research shows these are cheaper overall – plus there are additional benefits for their health and for the planet.
Promote Cooking Skills
Focus on Energy Saving Approaches
With energy costs increasing older people may be limiting food and cooking to save costs. Share these energy efficient cooking tips to help reduce energy costs when cooking.
Focus on Reducing Waste
Support elderly people to access their local community food services, highlight the value of these services as a way of reducing waste and respecting dignity. Share GFO’s handy search tool for local community food services.
Share other resources such as this handy tool for recipe planning and reducing waste from Love Food Hate Waste.
Cost Effective Cooking Tips
Check out these brilliant Cost Effective Cooking Tips from Climatarian Kitchen, ranging from batch cooking, to saving waste, to how to store and freeze food to make it last longer.
Want More Training on Food Poverty?
Have a look at GFO’s Food Poverty Training for anyone supporting people experiencing food poverty.