Partnering with USDA Programs During COVID-19

Food security/insecurity is a basic social determinant of health. Access to safe, adequate, nutritious, quality food and fluid is essential for life, health, disease risk reduction, and management of chronic disease and conditions. Titles III and VI of the Older Americans Act (OAA) indicate that a primary purpose of the OAA Nutrition Program is to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

The OAA Nutrition Program administered by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is not alone in addressing the issue of food insecurity and older adults. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) funds programs that target vulnerable older adults as well. At a time when all food assistance and distribution programs are stressed and older adults are sheltering at home and practicing social distancing, it is essential that programs work together to meet the needs of older adults and their communities.

During COVID-19 pandemic with increasing need for meals, food, and other nutrition services, OAA Nutrition Programs may want to serve additional meals to older adults and partner with USDA programs to enhance nutrition programs as well as increase food access and availability to older adults. This document goes over questions and answers about working with USDA Programs.