The Executive Office of Elder Affairs Senior Nutrition Program is the largest community nutrition services program for older Americans administered by the Administration on Aging of the United States Department of Health and Human Service, through Title III-C of the Older American Act (OAA). It is the second largest program operated by the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Twenty-seven nutrition programs located throughout the state serve over eight and a half million meals to seniors each year. Meals are provided at more than 400 congregate meal sites and are delivered to frail elders in their homes. More than half of the total meals are served to homebound elders.

Nutrition Services help to address a number of problems faced by many elders, including poor diets, health problems, food insecurity, and loneliness. Key nutrition services include nourishing meals, as well as nutrition screening, assessment, education, and counseling, to ensure that older people achieve and maintain optimal nutritional status.

A major goal of the Elder Affairs Nutrition project is to provide at least one nutritionally balanced meal per day to seniors either at a congregate meal site or through home-delivered meals. People age 60 or older and their spouses are eligible to receive nutrition services. A voluntary donation is requested.

An additional goal of the Elder Affairs Nutrition Services is to assist older persons in maintaining independence so that they may continue to reside in their own homes for as long as possible.

In addition to the important dietary and social needs met by nutrition services, nutrition sites are encouraged to provide supportive services if needed and not otherwise available to participants. Such services may include information and referral, transportation, health screening, and recreation.

What is the Senior Nutrition Program?

The Elderly Nutrition Program is a federal and state funded nutrition program, administered by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which allows local elderly agencies to provide nutritious meals to senior citizens.

What does the Senior Nutrition Program Provide?

Meals are provided at congregate meal sites and through home-delivered meals to senior citizens (age 60 or older) and handicapped or disabled people under age 60 who live in housing facilities occupied primarily by the elderly where congregate meals are served.

Each meal contains at least 1/3 of the current daily Recommended Dietary Allowance of nutrients and considers the special dietary needs of the elderly. In addition to providing meals, the Elderly Nutrition Program also provides access to social and rehabilitative services.

What is the Congregate Meals Program?

The congregate meal program provides at least one meal per day at senior centers, churches, schools, and other locations. The congregate setting provides opportunities for socialization and companionship. It also offers programs related to nutrition education, exercise activities, health promotion and disease prevention. Some programs also offer meals on weekends. Transportation is often available for those who have trouble getting around on their own.