Food Assistance for Seniors
As we age, sound nutrition becomes more essential. Nutritional deficiency can mimic symptoms of chronic disease and advance the onset of serious and costly health problems. Senior Centers provide lunch Monday through Friday and Meals on Wheels programs deliver nutritious meals to home-bound Seniors. Getting older can also mean more difficulty in getting around to buy groceries, fill prescriptions and see care providers such as our doctors and dentists. In many communities, reliable transportation is available for persons over age 60 with impairment that prevents driving or using public transportation, or with no other means of transportation. Your local Senior Agencies or Senior Center can help you learn about available resources.
Senior Congregate Meals at Senior Centers
- Senior Centers across the state serve congregate meals such as breakfast and a hot nutritious lunch free or for a small donation.
- Senior Centers usually ask that meal reservations be made 24 hours in advance.
- There is often a small suggested donation for meals, although they can not collect the donation in a way that makes seniors feel obligated to pay if they cannot afford it.
- Senior Centers are allowed to accept Food Stamp benefits as payment.
- Locations and contact info for each senior center can be found on the Utah Department of Human Services, Aging and Adult Services website by clicking here.
Meals on Wheels is the primary program in the state that focuses on getting food assistance to the elderly.
- Visit the Meals on Wheels website by clicking here for specific site locations.
- In Salt Lake County, visit the Salt Lake County Aging Services program and Meals on Wheels by clicking here.
- To learn more about volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Salt Lake County, click here.
- Learn more about Meals on Wheels by watching the video at the bottom of this page about Meals on Wheels in Utah County.
In the last ten years, Food Stamps have been converted from physical coupons to an electronic benefits transfer card that looks and functions like a debit card (see chart below). These cards store benefits for multiple programs, including General Assistance, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Food Stamps, and others. Food Stamps can be spent on eligible food items in grocery stores and farmers markets as well as plants and seeds that produce food for human consumption.
|Family Size||Food Stamps (130% of poverty as of 10/1/2016)|
|For each additional family member add $451|
Utah Food Bank Services
The Utah Food Bank has two programs that provide seniors with food boxes once a month. Click here to find more information.
- Senior Meal Boxes (Seniors must be between 125% -150% of poverty to qualify)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (Seniors must be below 125% of poverty to qualify)
Independent Living Centers
Independent Living Centers often provide seniors with transportation to get to the grocery store or pantries. Even if they don’t provide a monthly shopping trip, they will help seniors explore alternatives. Check out the list of these centers by clicking here.