A recent report from Meals on Wheels shows a 78% spike in seniors at risk for hunger since 2001. Although senior citizens have a vital lifeline in Social Security and Medicare benefits, rising food prices and health care costs continue to eat away at their fixed incomes.

According to a Huffington Post piece, one in seven seniors in America, some 8.3 million people, are having difficulty affording sufficient food. Certain groups are at a higher risk than others. Seniors age 60-69, minorities and women are more likely to face hunger than the general population. Women make up 60 percent of the population facing a hunger risk and African-Americans and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to face food insecurity.

Senior citizens on Social Security and Medicare aren’t living “high on the hog,” as some in Washington like to claim when supporting benefit cuts. We should remind Alan Simpson, who once complained seniors were well off driving their Lexus to the Perkins restaurants for AARP discounts, his view of the world doesn’t match up with the facts. We should be finding ways to strengthen Social Security and Medicare benefits, not cut them for those that can afford it the least.