While food insecurity has been shown to affect Americans across the lifespan, older adults, defined as individuals over age 65, have one of the highest subpopulation rates of food insecurity. Approximately one out of ten senior only households experience food insecurity nationally (Rabbitt, et al., 2017; Chung et al., 2012). A smaller, less researched faction of the older adult population is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adult community. Research has shown that LGBT seniors are significantly poorer than their heterosexual counterparts (Emlet, 2016). LGBT older Americans also experience higher rates of isolation and lower rates of familial and other social support as LGBT seniors are three times more likely to enter older adulthood without having children nor a spouse (Goldberg & Mawn, 2014). Research on general food insecurity has uncovered that low income and reduced social support have been defining indicators for experiencing food insecurity (Rabbitt, et al., 2017) However, less is known regarding food access challenges faced by older adults who identify as LGBT. This qualitative study explores the experiences of ten LGBT older adult community members who self-identify as food insecure. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using common coding techniques. Results highlighted a variety of barriers that limited access and multiple enabling factors. A key finding is the need for food programs that take into account the needs of the older adult population, particularly in regards to food access for individuals with mobility issues. The results can inform program implementation and evaluation to make food access programs equally as effective for older program participants.
Recommended CitationViola, MPHc, Dominique; Frasso, PhD, Rosemary; and Miller, MSW, Ed, "Running Out: Food Insecurity in the LGBT Older Adult Community" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 267.