NYSOF Celebrates Nutrition Program’s 50th Anniversary | Local announcements
ALBANY – This National Nutrition Month in March 2022, the New York State Office of Aging (NYSOFA) marks the 50th anniversary of the National Nutrition Program for Seniors (NPE), established in 1972. The program national established grants to provide home-delivered meals to seniors who need nutritional support. To date, NYSOFA and the network of Aging Services professionals and volunteers have provided more than one billion meals to more than 10 million seniors in New York City. To learn more, visit https://aging.ny.gov/march-meals.
NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen said, “NYSOFA is proud of the vital work being done by local aging agencies and community partners to achieve this important milestone in meeting the nutritional needs of older adults. New York’s nutrition program has been a lifeline for millions of older adults since its inception and especially during the last two years of the pandemic. During this time, the demand for food delivery – and the network’s response to that demand – has increased dramatically to meet the essential nutritional needs of older New Yorkers.
“The importance to public health of accessible and nutritious food cannot be overstated – and New York is delivering on that promise,” Olsen added. “Local meal programs and the nutrition they provide fight hunger, help manage chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, prevent the risk of falls, provide nutrition counseling and education, address many other physical and mental health needs and meet the highest dietary standards required by federal law.
“Each meal delivered to someone’s home or shared at a community table is also a chance to make a connection, overcome social isolation, discover other senior support services at meal sites or to get help for a neighbor who may have additional difficulties,” he added.
Nutrition programs offered to seniors
NYSOFA reminds New Yorkers that local nutrition services are available statewide for seniors age 60 and older. These include group meals in community restaurants or meals delivered to homes for people who cannot shop, prepare meals and do not have assistance with shopping and preparing meals on their own. themselves. Anyone over the age of 60 can access group meals, and those who need a meal at home must meet the eligibility criteria.
Income-based assistance is also available for seniors, including help paying for food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides coupons to buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables from participating farmers. markets.
To access any of these vital programs, contact your local office for aging using NYSOFA’s directory, or call the NY Connects hotline at 1-800-342-9871. You can also find more information about the program and applications on NYSOFA’s Nutrition Support page.
New SNAP process and video tutorial
New York State recently streamlined the SNAP enrollment process to make it easier for seniors to participate, including a shorter SNAP application and less frequent recertification periods (every 36 months instead of 24). Also, an interview is no longer required during the recertification process.
To outline these significant changes, NYSOFA recently produced a video with tips to help people complete the new application process.
Local offices for seniors also rely on volunteers to help support locally administered nutrition programs. Please contact your local office for aging about volunteer opportunities today, including meal preparation, meal delivery, or assisting with a group meal site in your community.
“Local offices for seniors and their partners provide more than 20 million meals a year to more than 245,000 seniors,” Olsen said. “These programs succeed through a partnership of federal, state and community resources, including the kindness of everyday New Yorkers who help prepare, serve and deliver meals. Please consider volunteering your time and making a difference by volunteering today.
The Seniors Nutrition Program is a critical cornerstone of the Federal Senior Citizens Act (OAA) to support the health and well-being of seniors through nutrition services.
The program was officially established 50 years ago under its own title of OAA, in 1972 when it was finally authorized by Congress. It is overseen at the federal level by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which provides grants for state-level nutrition programs.
Funding for the New York Nutrition Program at NYSOFA comes from a combination of federal, state, and local government sources coordinated into one statewide nutrition program.
To learn more about the program, please see our county breakdown of home-delivered and congregate meals served in New York State and other resources at https://aging.ny.gov/march-meals.