The Area Agency on Aging stresses the importance of proper diet and nutrition for the elderly within the community. There are two types of nutrition programs for the elderly: congregate (group) dining, and home-delivered meals.
Congregate Meal Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging supports a federally-funded group dining program throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The congregate, or group, meal program emphasizes good nutrition and the benefits derived from socialization and other program activity. Meal sites are in senior centers, churches, adult day care centers, and other neighborhood locations. Persons age 60 or older are eligible. A spouse may be any age and is also welcome when eating with his or her eligible spouse.
Voluntary, confidential contributions help pay for this program. Contributions are used by the local Area Agency on Aging to support additional meals. No one, however, is denied participation due to inability to contribute. Like many such voluntary contribution programs, the individual’s involvement preserves his or her dignity and offers personal investment in the program.
Home-delivered Meal Programs
Home-delivered meal programs (for example, Meals on Wheels) are part of Pennsylvania’s nutrition program, supported by federal and state funds. These programs, supported by federal and state funds. These programs provide meal services on a voluntary contribution basis; however, privately-operated programs may operate differently.
There are also private non-profit programs in some communities. Differences exist in eligibility and cost. Persons requesting home delivered meals arranged through the Area Agency on Aging receive an assessment to determine other service needs and the appropriateness of home delivered meals.