Learn about Meal Programs
Meal programs are available to older adults and people with disabilities who have difficulty preparing meals on their own.
What are meal programs?
Meal programs deliver meals to an individual’s home, or the individual travels to a community location where meals are served in a group setting. Meals are often included as part of other programs at Senior Centers and Adult Day Centers, where registered dieticians plan nutritious menus. Other meal settings include churches, community centers, and civic organizations. Some hospitals and retirement homes with spare kitchen capacity also provide meals for individuals who live nearby.
Additionally, many for-profit businesses offer food delivery services designed to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. For instance, restaurants, private meal services, and grocery stores often provide delivery for little or no cost other than that of the food itself.
What should I look for in a meal program?
You will need to find out whether a program can provide the meals you need, when you need them, and where you need them. Also, make sure that the program can accommodate any special dietary needs, either medical or religious. Check whether it can provide liquid or chopped meals, should this need arise.
How do I pay for a meal program?
Most meal programs are inexpensive or free, and are available to people of any income level. Some ask for a suggested donation. Many of these programs are subsidized by federal, state, or local agencies. Others are sponsored by religious organizations or community groups.