person from our senior nutrition program wearing a mask standing on a sidewalk with a clipboard and pen, handing a bag of food to an elderly person in a car

There’s an important resource in our community that a lot of people are missing out on. If you’re 60 years or older you could be getting free, healthy, prepared meals through Mecklenburg County’s Senior Citizens Nutrition Program. More than 2500 residents participate in the program now, but many more are eligible. Think you or someone you know may qualify?  Here’s what you need to know:

#1 – It’s Free

That’s right, free. The program is fully funded with federal, state and county dollars and it doesn’t even matter how much money you make. But the goal of the program is to reach seniors who don’t have access to nutritious food or have mental or physical conditions keeping them from shopping and preparing their own meals.

Participants have to be 60 years or older, with a couple of exceptions. If the spouse of the older person is under 60 years of age, they can also receive the meals. If a disabled person under 60 years old lives with the participant, they can use the service.

#2 There’s More Than One Way to Participate

cartons of different senior nutrition meals

No transportation, no problem. We’ve got you covered. Got a car or someone who can drive you or pick up for you? We make it easy for you!

  1. We established Grab and Go Meals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can choose from one of our six convenient locations and arrange to pick up a hot or frozen meal.
  2. The Meal Delivery Service is for “homebound” people with transportation, mental, physical or mobility issues that keep them from getting healthy food.
  3. Congregate Meal Service and Activities are currently suspended because of COVID-19 but when they are in operation, people meet on weekdays to socialize, exercise and learn new things.

#3 – It’s Not Just About the Food

It’s true the program provides delicious and healthy meals planned by dietary nutritionists (by the way, the meals are also prepared by a professional senior dining service). But there’s more to it. 

The meal delivery program connects people to home-health aide services, transportation, home repair and modification as well as fall prevention programs. It also serves as a safety check for participants who live alone.

The congregate program offers physical fitness activities, social connection, educational opportunities and fellowship. The program is shut down in person right now due to COVID-19. But we’ve partnered with the library to provide virtual classes for physical fitness and social connection. Both are important for longevity.

Probably one of the most important things about the Senior Nutrition Program is that participants keep their independence and stay in their homes longer. 

#4 – It’s Easy to Get Connected

Know someone who could benefit from senior nutrition services? Help us spread the word. There are many in our community who are eligible for this service but may not know about it. It’s as easy as one call or click:

  • For home-delivered meals contact Just1Call at 704-432-1111.