Vegatables on cutting board

Food and Meals

Food and Meals
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Overview

Healthy, nutritious, balanced meals are served to older New Yorkers, up to five days a week, in senior centers, senior clubs, senior housing complexes, town halls, and other community locations. There are approximately 1,000 locations across the state that provide meals and many kinds of social activities. Up-to-date information about wellness and healthy eating habits is provided to those who receive meals. Registered dietitians offer private nutrition counseling to older people with questions about diabetes, weight loss or gain, and healthy eating. Participants do not need to get meals to meet with the registered dietitians. Some community sites provide transportation for those who need help getting to one of the meal locations.

Community Dining

Overview

Healthy, nutritious, balanced meals are served to older New Yorkers, up to five days a week, in senior centers, senior clubs, senior housing complexes, town halls and other nearby locations. There are about 1,000 locations across the state for meals and many kinds of social activities, too. Up-to-date information about healthy eating, wellness and healthy habits is given out to those who get meals. Registered dietitians can help any older person with questions about diabetes, weight loss or gain and healthy eating in private nutrition counseling. You don't need to get meals to meet with the registered dietitians. Some community sites provide transportation for those who need help getting to one of the meal locations.

Who is Eligible?

Anyone 60 years old or older is eligible. This is not an income-based program. If you are also married, your spouse can get meals even if they are not 60 years old. If a person with a disability younger than 60 is living with you, they may use the community dining site, too. When a community dining site is open in a housing complex for older adults (primarily), people with disabilities who live there may get meals, as well.

Is There a Cost?

There is no charge for meals, nutrition information or counseling, but each person is given the opportunity to make a suggested voluntary contribution for meals. All contributions are used locally to help serve more people. Some programs also provide the opportunity to make a suggested voluntary contribution for nutrition counseling.

How do I Apply?

Contact your local Office for the Aging or NY Connects.

 

Home-Delivered Meals

Overview

You may need meals for a short time because you were recently discharged from a hospital and can't make meals until you recover. Or you may need meals for a longer time because you can't do many of the things you did for yourself before. For older New Yorkers who can't prepare meals for themselves, home-delivered meals provide healthy, nutritious, balanced meals to a participant’s residence up to five days a week. Up-to-date information about wellness and healthy eating habits is provided to those who receive meals. Registered dietitians offer private nutrition counseling to older people with questions about diabetes, weight loss or gain, and healthy eating.

 

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if you are 60 years old or older and have completed an interview that shows you are not able to prepare meals for yourself and don't have help from friends or family. This is not an income-based program. If you are married, your spouse may get meals even if they are not 60 years old. If a person with a disability younger than 60 is living with you, they may get meals, too. Providing meals to a spouse or person with a disability living with you is done on a case-by-case basis.

 

The same client interview that helps find out if you are eligible for home delivered meals will provide guidance on other helpful services and programs for older people, as well.

 

Is There a Cost?

There is no charge for meals, nutrition information or counseling but each person is given the opportunity to make a suggested voluntary contribution for meals. All contributions are used locally to help serve more people. Some programs also provide the opportunity to make a suggested voluntary contribution for nutrition counseling.

How do I Apply?

Contact your local Office for the Aging or NY Connects.

Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

Overview

Once a year, the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) gives eligible, low-income older adults 20 dollars in coupons to buy locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets in New York State. Booklets are available in July and may be used through November. They are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Farmers’ markets provide up-to-date information about healthy eating and have cooking demonstrations using local produce. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the meals we eat helps make us healthier. This program also helps support farming, which is a major part of the state's economy.

 

Who is Eligible?

SFMNP checks are provided to individuals 60 years or older, who are, or affirm that they are, low-income based on income standards.

 

Is There a Cost?

There is no cost for the coupon booklet. Farmers markets may accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits, and many markets accept the Electronic Benefits Card (EBT).

How do I Apply?

Contact your local Office for the Aging or NY Connects.

 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Overview

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits help low-income working people, older adults, people with disabilities, and others put healthy food on the table. Benefits are provided through an electronic benefit card (EBT), similar to a debit or credit card. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size, income, expenses and other factors.

 

Who is Eligible?

If your income (based on your family size) is less than or equal to the allowable amounts, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits. However, even if your household's gross income is below these amounts, it does not ensure that you will be eligible for a benefit. A SNAP budget must be calculated for your household to determine eligibility and benefit amount. The only way to determine if your household is eligible for SNAP benefits is to apply.

Complete eligibility information.

 

Is There A Cost?

There is no cost; participation is based on meeting eligibility criteria.

 

How do I Apply?

Apply online or in person at your Local Department of Social Services (LDSS).