The 24 percent: seniors living with food insecurity

Seniors living with food insecurity
second harvest water dist.jpg
Posted at 3:22 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 07:07:36-04

Louisiana is ranked as the second worst state for seniors at risk of hunger.

24 percent, or about one in four seniors, face food insecurity.

Marilyn Hoffpauir is one of those seniors.

For 41 years she worked as a Registered Nurse. She said, when the pandemic started, she did not think twice about putting on her scrubs and heading into work.

Then, in January of this year, she contracted COVID-19.

"One of the nurses was looking for extra time," Hoffpauir explained. "I told her that I couldn't work Monday so she could work for me. The Sunday I was admitted to the hospital."

Tragically, not long after, Hoffpauir's husband got the virus.

"I heard a crash in the kitchen and it was him, he had fallen," Hoffpauir said. "They admitted him."

He died after a long battle with the virus.

Hoffpauir had little time to grieve.

Not only had she just lost her husband of 41 years but also her security.

"It's not where I thought I would be," Hoffpauir said.

She is not alone.

Sarah Theriot-Walker said she never thought she would find herself depending on others as she got older.

It was something she thought she had figured out.

"Seek help if you need help," Theriot-Walker said.

As for Hoffpauir, today, she has some relief with help from Second Harvest.

"I was kind of leery to get help and stuff," Hoffpauir said. "I waited a little while. Don't be embarrassed about getting help. They have a mission's heart and they want to help people. Nobody wants you to go hungry or anything. There is no reason why you can't ask for help."

Despite it all Hoffpauir is thankful. She said she is thankful for those who donate without another thought and help to take one more worry off of her mind.

2018 Statistics on food insecurity by parish: