From Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
Annelies Goger, policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, outlined the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on low-income older adults in the U.S. While government recommendations to practice social distancing, stay home and stock up on food are in effect, these guidelines may lead millions of older adults to experience food insecurity. Many rely on transportation assistance to the grocery store, and many cannot afford to purchase enough food. Older adults are more likely to live in poverty, with 21.4 million living 200% below the poverty line and 7.2 million living 100% below the poverty line. Black, Latino and Hispanic older adults – especially women – have higher rates of economic insecurity, with 60 percent of black and Latino women over 65 living 200% below the poverty line. Goger outlines several short- and long-term policy options to alleviate the disproportionate risks facing older adults.