Congregate meals offer nutritional and social benefits. They bring seniors together to enjoy meals. Seniors often have a difficult time cooking interesting meals for themselves. Our delicious meals provide great nutrition that will keep seniors healthy as well as providing an outlet where seniors can create friendships and get to know other seniors in their area. It can be very lonely for seniors who are living independently. When they go to have a congregate meal, they meet other seniors and can create friendships and relationships with them. Congregate meals can help build strong and happy social lives for seniors that wish to keep living by themselves. We provide a comprehensive nutrition plan to ensure that seniors are getting the proper nutrition that they need. The meals are always delicious and different so that seniors do not become bored with the same meals. Our congregate meals ensure that seniors are getting the meals that they need, which is especially important for seniors who are living on their own
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- Through the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program, ACL’s Administration on Aging (AoA) provides grants to states to help support nutrition services for older people throughout the country. These services include the Congregate Nutrition Program which provide healthy meals in group settings, such as senior centers and faith-based locations. Through the Aging Network’s meal providers, the programs provide a range of services including nutrition screening, assessment, education, and counseling. Nutrition services also provide an important link to other supportive community-based supports such as transportation, physical activity and chronic disease self-management programs and falls prevention programs.
Congregate Nutrition Services (OAA Section 331, sometimes called C1) The Congregate Nutrition Services section of the OAA authorizes meals and related nutrition services in congregate settings, which help to keep older Americans healthy and prevent the need for more costly medical interventions. In addition to serving healthy meals, the program presents opportunities for social engagement, information on healthy aging, and meaningful volunteer roles, all of which contribute to an older individual’s overall health and well-being.
The Congregate Nutrition program serves individuals age 60 and older, and in some cases, their caregivers, spouses, and/or persons with disabilities.
Recent data from the National Survey of OAA Participants illustrates that Congregate Nutrition Programs are effectively targeting their services:
- More than 50% of participants are 75 years or older
- The average age of a participant is 76 years old
- 58% of participants indicated that one congregate meal provides one-half or more of their total food for the day
- 77% of participants say they eat healthier because of a meal program
- 76% of participants believe their health has improved as a result of a lunch program