Meal options for older persons and individuals with disabilities in the Atlanta region
Need to know what’s for lunch? Have you been skipping meals or eating too much cheap, but unhealthy, food since you retired? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. In Georgia, lots of older adults leave their best culinary years behind them as incomes tighten and abilities change. Why? Many no longer have the energy needed to plan, shop for, and prepare meals. Some may not be able to afford fresh fruits and vegetables. Many are unfamiliar with the types of foods that support their dietary needs now that they are living with a chronic condition (like diabetes or high blood pressure). Many prefer dining with a friendly face, but are living alone. Some may have never learned to cook or no longer feel steady enough to pick up a cutting knife. Transportation to the grocery store may be a challenge.
You should never need to worry about having good nutrition as you age. Whether you’re looking to share a meal with friends, to get meals delivered to your home, or to find healthy, low-cost ingredients, we have a menu of options for you to choose from.
Read on to learn more about:
Food service for older persons at home or in the community
Community meals—Enjoy a lunch outing
Many senior and community centers offer regular meals to enjoy in the company of friends and neighbors at little or no cost to you. These lunches, sometimes called congregate meals, offer a chance to socialize over a full plate of nutritionally balanced food. The portions are designed to keep your diet balanced, providing at least a third of the nutrition you need every day.
Depending on your situation, the meal at a center may be free or at a low cost. You may be asked for a voluntary contribution to help offset the cost of the meal.
By joining a center for lunch, you can also learn more about improving your health through good nutrition, even if you have special dietary needs. Some centers will even provide transportation to help you get there. Center staff can even work with your doctor to support your health. A regular meal at a center can serve as the cornerstone to your healthy lifestyle—ask any of the staff how you can connect to resources like shopping assistance, health, fitness and educational programs, and recreational activities.
Home delivered meals
If you have trouble getting out of the house on your own, you can arrange for the food to come to you. Many grocery stores offer delivery service and you can now order meal kits that come right to your door.
You’ve probably heard the phrase meals on wheels, but did you know every community in the Atlanta region has a food delivery option that can bring good nutrition right to your door? Depending on your income, if you are over age 60, you can enjoy regularly delivered meals at little to no cost. Younger adults with disabilities can get free home-delivered meals too, as part of a Medicaid-funded home and community-based service. Some of home-delivered meals partners in the Atlanta region also provide you the option to fully pay for your home-delivered meals.
Plus, with every plate comes a friendly face—if you’re living alone, a daily food delivery can be the perfect chance to tell someone about your day and hear about theirs. In addition to food-delivery, these visitors can check on you to make sure you are safe, share nutrition information and help connect you with other supports you may need for your day-to-day life.
Fresh, locally-grown produce: Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The Georgia Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides income eligible people ages 60 years and older with checks that can be exchanged for fresh, unprepared fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers at designated market sites. The checks are issued on a first-come, first-served basis until all are issued.
SFMNP promotes Georgia grown produce and individual local farmers. Authorized farmers bring their produce to local participating senior sites (senior center) for participants to redeem their program checks on-site following program certification. The Georgia SFMNP’s goal is to increase consumption of produce by promoting the expansion of market sites. The Georgia SFMNP season runs annually from June 1 through September 30. SFMNP benefits are not available in all metro Atlanta counties.
For more information, contact empowerline at (404)463-3333.
Have more questions about your meal options?
Satisfy your hunger for both food and community—contact empowerline to learn more about healthy-eating choices available near you. We will connect you with community meals in your area, home-delivered meal options, and other nutrition resources to support your well designed well being.
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