Debbie Gulley: Marking 50 years of the senior nutrition program

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 15, 2024

In March, the Area Agency on Aging District 7 joined the federal Administration for Community Living and senior nutrition service providers across the country and in our own communities in celebrating the anniversary of the national Senior Nutrition Program.

Since 1972, the Senior Nutrition Program has supported nutrition services for older adults. Funded by the Older Americans Act, local senior nutrition programs serve as hubs for older adults (60 and older) to access nutritious meals and other vital services that strengthen social connections and promote health and well-being.

Senior nutrition is now more important than ever. Each year in the U.S., up to half of adults over 65 are at risk of malnutrition, and more than 10 million face hunger. In communities throughout the U.S. – including our own – older adults sometimes lack access to the high-quality, nutritious food they need to remain healthy and independent.

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As part of the Senior Nutrition Program network, the AAA7 helps older adults in our community by promoting healthy eating, decreasing social isolation, and improving health. Our program also provides connections to home and community-based services that can support independence and overall well-being. Congregate meal sites within our ten counties include:

• Adams County – West Union Nutrition Site at 111 West Main Street, and the Seaman Nutrition Site at the Seaman Community Building.

• Brown County – Georgetown Senior Nutrition Site at the Senior Citizens Building.

• Gallia County – Gallia County Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Center at 1165 State Route 160.

• Highland County – Greenfield Nutrition Site at 1300 Jefferson Street, and Highland County Senior Center at 185 Muntz St. in Hillsboro (free-standing, not part of AAA7 Senior Nutrition Program).

• Jackson County – Jackson Senior Nutrition Site at 25 Mound Street, Wellston Senior Nutrition Site at 407 S New York Avenue, and Oak Hill Senior Nutrition Site at 115 Glen Cove Road.

• Lawrence County – Senior Center in Proctorville, located at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds (free-standing, not part of AAA7 Senior Nutrition Program).

• Pike County – Waverly Senior Nutrition Site at the Pike County Senior Citizens Center at 402 Clough St.

• Ross County – Chillicothe Senior Nutrition Site at the Ross County Senior Citizens Center at 1824 Western Ave., and Londonderry Senior Nutrition Site at 4923 Vigo Rd.

• Scioto County – Portsmouth Senior Nutrition Site at the Senior Citizens Building at 112-115 Market St.

• Vinton County – McArthur Senior Nutrition Site at the Vinton County Senior Citizens Center at 31935 State Route 93.

To participate in the congregate meal program, an intake assessment is conducted to determine eligibility. Suggested donations, that are completely voluntary, are determined for each location. Days and hours vary by location. 

Debbie Gulley is the interim director of Area Agency on Aging District 7.