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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.

Food service for older persons at home or in the community

These regular meal options could be just the right solution:

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 produce, for free—A community farmers’ market

An essential part of everyone’s diet, no matter your age or ability, is plenty of fruits and veggies. And there’s no better source for fruits and veggies than a local farmers’ market. From June to September, the Georgia Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors with cash for purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each year, the SFMNP pays $20 to participants to use at designated market sites, not only providing access to healthy, fresh produce, but also supporting local farmers.

Learn more about the Georgia Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program .

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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