Creating a Sustainable Future for Community Nutrition and Aging Programs
The National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging (NRCNA) is collaborating with the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) to propose a vision for the future of congregate meals programs. Together, the NRCNA – hosted by Meals on Wheels America as part of a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) – and NANASP continue to support congregate nutrition programs as they evolve to meet the rapidly growing demand for services.
More and more, emerging research suggests that participation in congregate meal programs can and do have significant health and wellness benefits for older adults. Despite this, in some areas, participation in these programs is falling. Reasons for this are multifactorial and include societal, philanthropic, healthcare, workforce, and larger business environment changes.
However, opportunities abound for community-based congregate meal programs of all sizes to innovate and remain sustainable. Senior nutrition program providers are well-positioned to leverage their assets and core services including congregate meal services to align with the current trend towards the provision of cost-efficient, high value, person-centered programs and services.
An Exploration of Current Challenges and Future Opportunities
The congregate nutrition program is the largest program in the Older Americans Act (OAA). It provides group meals for older adults at senior centers, churches, and other facilities.
Convening Proceedings: Nourishing Partnerships
As the older adult population grows and becomes increasingly diverse, congregate nutrition services face new challenges. Learn more about the specific challenges in our white paper.
Improving the Dining Experience for Overall Satisfaction
The congregate nutrition program can be fun, engaging and impactful for older adults living in communities across the country.
Strategies to Enhance Nutrition Training
Congregate nutrition programs are designed to support older adults, specifically those facing social and financial difficulties.