When many of us think about the problem of food insecurity, we often Invision young children. The hidden fact, however, is that there is another group of people suffering from this issue as well: the elderly. As the greying of the nation continues to increase, there is a real problem for those older Americans who cannot get the food that they need to stay healthy.
As a result, some fo these older Americans face worse medical issues because they are not getting the nutrition that they need. This leads to higher Medicare and Medicaid costs when health problems require hospitalization. When you realize that so many of these problems are the result of poor nutrition you begin to understand the need for solving the problem of food insecurity in Americans of all age, both young and old.
Another population group that is not often considered when it comes to food insecurity is college students. As more and more families struggle, however, to find a way to have the kind of college savings that is needed in a time of skyrocketing tuition costs, there are some students who are feeling the pressure during the year once classes start. It is never easy to be hungry, but if you are a first generation college student surrounded by many peers who seem to have everything figured out it can be difficult to ask for help. As a result, there are a growing number of campuses that are providing students with access to a food pantry that also provides for some basic hygiene needs as well.
A new term to some, food insecurity refers to any person who at some time during the year does not have the means to put food on the table or get something to eat. Unfortunately, the highest percentage of those with food insecurity in the nation are children. Perhaps because parents are between jobs or the main provider in the home is ill, these children, and their parents, have come face to face with the reality of not having anything to eat. As a child, of course, an even one time occurrence of being told that there is nothing to eat will definitely feel the insecurity of whether or not this is something that could happen again.
As a college student who has no family with a college savings plan, but is on campus on scholarship, there are times when there is a significant gap between what things are provided by the scholarship and what is not. Fortunately, in a nation where the divide between the haves and the have nots is growing more apparent everyday, there are groups who work to connect those in need with the best available resources.
College 529 Plans and Other College Savings Accounts Offer a Number of Advantages
Although not all families can find a way to participate, there are college savings plans in place that help parents and grandparents set aside college money. And while not everyone has the right kind of retirement planning in place, there are options for pretax contributions to these accounts as well. The problem, of course, comes when the people who need these resources the most cannot even begin to participate. Perhaps this is why these tow topics, college costs and retirement options, are so important to many who are running for political office today.
And while there are as many as 73% of employed workers who report that they are offered a defined contribution plan by their employer, the amount of these contributions can vary greatly. And for those students who have no parent making any contribution the stresses increase. With the help of politicians and other resources, there are many who are trying to even the playing field for young and old alike. Obviously, there is never enough funding to take care of everyone who needs help, but there is a growing concern when wealth management plans seem to only benefit those in the very highest income brackets.
With the help of cost controlling efforts, there are many who hope that college will become more of an option for people in every bracket, and that elderly health costs will be more manageable as well.