Senior citizens are struggling to afford enough food in the U.S. and the problem appears to be getting worse.

An alarming 1 in 12 seniors aged 60 and older — 5.5 million or 7.7% of the senior population — didn’t have enough food in 2017, the latest year for which data was available, according to a new study by Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that operates more than 200 food banks.

Economic constraints lead some seniors to eat less or skip meals, an epidemic that will negatively affect more than 8 million food-insecure seniors in the U.S. by 2050, according to “The State of Senior Hunger in America” report.

New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi are the three states with the highest number of seniors — more than 10% of the state’s senior population affected by the hunger crisis, followed by D.C., North Carolina, Texas, Alabama and Rhode Island, it added.

Two-thirds of hungry seniors have incomes above the federal poverty line

Two-thirds of all hungry seniors (65.3%) have incomes above the federal poverty line ($12,140 a year, or $1,012 per month for a single person household in 2017). And younger seniors — aged 60 to 64 — are twice as likely to be food insecure as seniors who are 80 or older.

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