The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $250 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living to help communities provide meals for elders.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 18, 2020, provides additional funding for the nutrition services programs authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965. These programs provide meals to more than 2.4 million elders each year, both through home delivery and in places like community centers. The need for these services, particularly home-delivered and packaged meals, has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and have left many family caregivers unable to assist their older loved ones.
In addition to meals, OAA programs provide a wide range of services, such as help with bathing and dressing, rides to doctors’ offices, education on managing chronic illnesses, support for family caregivers, and much more. Provided by a network of community-based organizations, such as Area Agencies on Aging, local community and senior centers, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofit service providers, these programs work together to help millions of elders each year stay healthy and continue living independently.
Funding has been provided to states, territories and tribes for subsequent allocation to local meal providers. Grant amounts are determined based on the population-based formulas defined in the OAA.
Elders who need assistance can contact the Eldercare Locator to find services available in their community. The Eldercare Locator can be reached at 1-800-677-1116 or eldercare.acl.gov.