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City’s 50 Year Senior Meal Program Provides More Than Basic Nutrition

Senior nutrition program continues to create a safety net of essential service

This March, the Department of Senior Affairs joins senior nutrition service providers across the country to reflect on 50 years of the national Senior Nutrition Program. This comes after two years of modifications to successfully serve the department’s mission and continue to meet community members evolving needs throughout the pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Senior Affairs determined which programs could remain in place and continue to meet the needs of Bernalillo County seniors. The City of Albuquerque Senior Affairs (CASA) kitchen facility prepared approximately 920,000 senior meals during the peak months of the pandemic, more than doubling the number of meals normally served. As COVID cases decline, the average number of daily meals served is about 1,500 older adults, with 46% of the daily average providing homebound seniors with home delivered meals.

“Our senior nutrition meal program has always been crucial in serving as a way for isolated seniors to connect and stay engaged.” said Anna Sanchez, Director of Department of Senior Affairs.  “When it was affected by the looming pandemic impact, our kitchen stepped up, providing an essential safety net for our community.”

Funded by the Older Americans Act, the nutrition program helps older adults in our community, by promoting healthy eating, decreasing social isolation, and improving health. The program also provides connections to home and community-based services, including recreation and transportation services, making it easier for seniors to stay engaged with their community.

“The Senior Nutrition Program has helped older adults in our community for decades. We look forward to continuing to grow and innovate our services for generations to come.” said Michelle Briscoe, Manager of the City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Area Agency on Aging.

For information about services for older adults in Bernalillo County, visit cabq.gov/seniors or call 505-764-6400 (TTY: 1-800-659-8331) M-F, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday calls will be routed to 311.