By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Meals on Wheels released a report on Thursday that finds hunger is on the increase among the nation’s elderly population. The report says one in seven seniors in Pennsylvania faces the threat of hunger and one in eight, in New Jersey.

The statistics didn’t surprise Victoria Lynam, director of Philadelphia Senior Center.

“Most seniors live on a fixed income,” Lynam said. “So when the price of groceries or utilities and rent and everything else is going up, it puts a squeeze on them, and food is one of the things that they can control. They can’t control the rent, they have to pay that, but they cut down on food or cut down on medicine, which is another terrible choice.”

Lynam said meals offered at centers like the one on South Broad Street help.

“We come here and eat because the food is delicious,” said one senior. “I thank God.”

The report was released the same week that Pennsylvania had begun means testing for food stamps, which advocates fear will disproportionately impact seniors.

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