Congregate meals are meals provided in group setting to those 60 years and older to reduce hunger and curb food insecurity,promote elder socialization and the well-being of older individuals to delay adverse health conditions. Meals are usually served five to seven days a week often times at schools, senior centers, community centers, churches and/or senior house complexes. Aside from serving daily meals, congregate meals help celebrate birthdays, holidays and special dinners.
Many sites also offer a diabetic menu and/or ethnic meals, such as Italian, Chinese or Mexican. Nutrition education is offered before or after meals depending on the facility’s schedule.
While any one and his or her spouse are welcome to join the congregate meals programs, they are intended for seniors most in need. Some programs even offer meals to those younger with disabilities.
Meals are funding by the local Area Agency of Aging. While there are no set admission fees, people are encouraged to provide donations. Meals sites with limited budgeting may not offer meals daily. For information on meal programs, call your Area Agency on Aging. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, call the national Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.