Senior Nutrition Program
This program provides healthy well - balanced congregate and home-delivered meals to diners who meet the participation guidelines.
The purpose of the program is:
- To reduce hunger and food insecurity.
- To promote socialization.
- To promote the health and well-being of older individuals.
The program provides meals that meet state and federal requirements for one-third of the Dietary Reference Intakes and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Meals are appropriate for those that need a low fat/cholesterol, low salt and high fiber diet.
In addition, the program provides access to nutrition education, nutrition counseling and wellness programs such as "Fresh Conversations" and "A Matter of Balance".
The “Fresh Conversations” program offers food, fun and friendly conversation to help you maintain your health and independence. Once a month, older adults gather together at a congregate meal site to learn from each other, sample new recipes, discuss current nutrition and health topics, and discover new ways to be active. “Fresh Conversations” is a 30 minute session led by a facilitator using an information packed newsletter developed and funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department on Aging.
Attendance at “Fresh Conversations” can range anywhere from 5 to 40 participants. Currently, these are the congregate meal sites where “Fresh Conversations” is presented:
- Charles City
- Clear Lake
- Fort Dodge Deercreek
- Fort Dodge Senior Center
- Lake Mills
- Lake Park
- Mason City-Pilgrim Place
- Rockwell City
- Spencer-Sunset Apartments
- Spencer Activity Center
- Spirit Lake
- St. Ansgar
- Storm Lake
- Wall Lake
Elderbridge wants to expand this program to additional meal sites. Please call our Nutrition Coordinator (1-800-243-0678 ext 7060) if you would like to be a volunteer leader or have your meal site participate in the “Fresh Conversations” program.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it cost?
Diners who meet eligibility can make a confidential donation for their meal. The suggested contribution is between $3.50 - $6.50; however, no eligible participant is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. For diners who do not meet eligibility requirements, the meal is $8.10.
Who is eligible?
- Diners who are 60 years of age or older.
- A spouse of a diner that is 60 years of age or older.
- Dependent adult child living with a diner 60 years of age or older.
- Disabled diners who live in an apartment where there is a senior nutrition program meal site.
The Senior Nutrition Program meals are available to all people regardless of race, color, gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or income level.
What if I have a visitor that is not eligible for the program, can they eat lunch with me?
Yes! Any person can eat lunch at the meal site as a guest, their meal cost is $8.10.
Do I need a reservation?
Yes, please notify your meal site by 1 p.m. the day before you plan to dine at the congregate meal site.
What’s on the menu?
You may click here to view the menu.
Menus are also posted at each meal site, delivered to all home bound participants and printed in the Elderbridge newsletter "Renaissance". Many local newspapers in the towns near the congregate meal sites also publish the menus each month.
Please note: Not all meal sites in our service area follow the Elderbridge menus. Sites that have access to a registered dietician can write their own menus if they wish. In addition, sites are allowed to switch around daily menus within a calendar week to accommodate site specific events and plans.
Is it just a meal?
The program is much more than a hot meal. Meal sites provide opportunities to learn about topics of interest to elders, socialize with friends, and participate in various activities.
What is an intake form and why do I have to complete it?
The intake form is mainly for statistics required by the state; however, it also helps us maintain funding levels which are partly determined by the number of registered meals served in our service area. The information you provide on the intake form is kept confidential and must be updated yearly.