JACKSON, Miss. (WHLT)-  The combination of charity and government assistance programs are necessary to help bridge the meal gap for many that face hunger.

5.2 million seniors and 13 million children face hunger in America. Seniors facing hunger have to decide between paying for groceries or medical care. A senior facing hunger puts them at risk for chronic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and possibly mental health issues. Millions of seniors qualify for SNAP but only 48% receive SNAP benefits according to Feeding America.

Families with children may face hunger simply because they don’t have enough money to buy food. Feeding America says 84% of households report buying the cheapest food instead of healthy food in order to provide enough to eat. 47.7 % of households receiving SNAP have children in the home.