Senior Citizen Food Assistance Programs

Updated on January 23, 2020
Rachelle Williams profile image

I'm a digital content creator whose goal is to create content that helps people enhance their lives.

Nearly one in six seniors in America faces the constant threat of hunger
Nearly one in six seniors in America faces the constant threat of hunger

Statistics reflect that senior citizens in America are facing a serious hunger crisis. A study from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) uncovered the fact that a third of all seniors have reported scaling down the size of their meals, skipping meals altogether, or buying cheap, unhealthy food, because they often do not have enough money to eat properly.

Many of us are not okay with senior hunger. The reality pointed out above is highly disturbing to me, and I am sure it is the same for others who care for the welfare of even strangers. I cannot imagine my mother, grandmother, great aunts or any of the senior citizens in my life being hungry and unable to feed themselves...therein lies the motivation for this article.

If you know or even suspect that a senior citizen you are familiar with is struggling to feed themselves, please feel free to utilize these resources or share this information with them.

Resources for Senior Citizen Food Assistance

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is probably the first food resource that comes to mind when most of us think about food assistance programs for senior citizens.

Meals on Wheels provides prepared meals to more than one million people per day and they distribute those meals to seniors in communal living facilities and directly to the homes of seniors who are homebound. You can use the following link to Find the Local Meals on Wheels Program in your area.

Medicaid Home Food Delivery

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 provided a mechanism for the federal government, under the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicaid, to establish the Home and Community Based Care Services program (HCBS).

The program chiefly provides waivers for meals, but there is a stipulation for seniors and disabled persons to be able to qualify for home food delivery programs. Unlike the Meals on Wheels programs, these meals are delivered either fresh, frozen, or shelf-stable.

The Medicaid food delivery services can be daily, every other day or weekly, according to the needs of the participant. There are multiple programs under the umbrella of Medicaid that have financial, as well as non-financial requirements.

You can start the process of applying for the Medicaid food delivery programs by contacting service providers Mom's Meals or Homestyle Direct.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program Distribution (CSFP) Center
Commodity Supplemental Food Program Distribution (CSFP) Center

Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides federal grants to each state, so they can provide access to locally sourced fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs. The program is meant to help low-income seniors and it is to be used at farmers' markets, roadside stands and community focused agricultural programs.

Click the link to locate and contact the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program organizations in your area.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federally funded initiative with the goal of enhancing the health of low-income people who are at least 60 years of age.

The program seeks to supplement the diets of its target demographic with nutritious U. S. Department of Agriculture foods (USDA). The USDA distributes both food and administrative funds to participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations to operate. You can find your local CSFP program online.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the biggest provider of food assistance to the general population in the United States.

The SNAP program is designed for people with low income, and many senior citizens may well be eligible, even though some people falsely believe their income will disqualify them. It never hurts to apply for the program, because you may be able to receive at lease some assistance, if not the full benefit.

Long gone are the days when people had to deal with food coupons attached to booklets and glaring stares of disapproval from shoppers who tended to judge people with low income. Today, the food stamp or SNAP program works with an EBT card, which is much like any other debit card.

Please click the following link, if you or someone you know is a senior citizen seeking to qualify for your local (statewide) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Can You Think of a Senior Citizen You Could Possibly Help With Food Assistance Info?

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    • Rachelle Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachelle Williams 

      5 months ago from Tempe, AZ

      That is awesome advice Mr. Jasper! Thank you so much for your contribution!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      5 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Our local senior centers offer a full meal at lunchtime for just $3.00, and they have breads, meats. vegetables, fruits, beverages, and desserts for seniors to take home with them. It is not unusual to pay that $3.00 for the lunch and go home with $25 to $30 worth of food. Check your local senior centers to see whether or not they also offer such a program.

    • Rachelle Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachelle Williams 

      5 months ago from Tempe, AZ

      Thank you Rajan!

    • Rachelle Williams profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachelle Williams 

      5 months ago from Tempe, AZ

      Thank you so much Linda!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful article. I hope people that need help read it. I'll share the article on Facebook.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Useful information. Sharing this ahead.

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