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Nutrition Services

The Office of Long-Term Living, through the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), provides quality nutrition services to older Pennsylvanians through several methods: congregate and home-delivered meals, food stamp benefits, nutrition education and internet-based information.

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Congregate meals are nutritious meals served in a group setting. They are served at least once a day, usually around noon, five or more days a week within the AAA service area (usually in senior community centers). In some areas, breakfast or special evening meals may be available. Less frequently, meals may also be available at satellite centers or in adult daily living centers.

Home-delivered meals, sometimes referred to as "meals on wheels," may be provided through the AAAs when an eligible person is in need of the service. The meals may be made up of hot, cold, frozen or shelf stable foods. Deliveries may be daily or weekly, depending on the type of food provided. Contact your local AAA for additional information and eligibility requirements.

Both congregate and home-delivered meals must meet 1/3 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for people 51 to 70 years of age and 70 and older. The meals are nutritious and consider preferences of local communities and ethnic groups. Prepared under sanitary conditions using safe food handling practices, the meals are reviewed and approved by a registered dietitian to ensure that nutritional requirements are met.

All meals meet or exceed the state minimum guidelines for meals. Aging Program Directive #06-03-01 outlines the requirements for nutrition services.

Social Assistant Management System (SAMS) Procedures for Congregate Meals

Food Stamp Benefits: Nutrition may be further enhanced by the use of food stamp benefits which assist low income households by increasing their food purchasing power. Food stamps are available for eligible individuals and vary in amounts. Contact your local County Assistance Office for more information about these benefits.

During the summer months, the Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible older adults with four checks totaling $20 to buy Pennsylvania grown fruits and vegetables.

Frequently asked questions about nutrition services


You local Area Agencies on Aging

Office of Long-Term Living
Bureau of Individual Supports
Division of Direct Services
555 Walnut Street, 6th Floor 
Harrisburg, PA  17101-1919
Phone: (717) 787-8091
Fax: (717) 265-7698