Meal Programs Available to Older Adults in NYC

by Leah Butz

With the end of emergency SNAP benefits on March 1, 2023, many vulnerable populations, including older adults, are struggling to get enough food for themselves and their families. Hunger Solutions NY estimates that 8 million older adults across the country are food insecure. Older adults in NYC who need food assistance might be eligible for for one or more of the following resources to help them get food on the table. 

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
Type of service: Nutrition incentive program. Older adults are given booklets of four $5 coupons to purchase fresh produce at farmers’ markets throughout the City.
Eligibility requirements: Adults 60 years old or older and earning below a specified income threshold.
Locations served: Throughout NYC.
Frequency of service: Coupon booklets distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at older adult centers or congregate meal centers. Coupons cannot be used after November 30 of the year they are issued.
Learn more: 

NYC Department for the Aging Older Adult Centers
Type of service: Group hot meals. Some Centers also provide grab-and-go meals.
Eligibility requirements: All adults 60 years old and older. Older adults can also bring younger spouses and people with disabilities with whom they live as guests. 
Locations served: Throughout NYC – use 311’s Site Finder to locate an Older Adult Center near you.
Frequency of service: Depends on the Center, but many provide at least one meal daily.
Learn more: 

God’s Love We Deliver
Type of service: Home-delivered medically tailored meals.
Eligibility requirements: Individuals who live with a serious illness and have an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) limitation. 
Locations served: Throughout NYC, plus parts of New Jersey and Westchester and Nassau Counties.
Frequency of service: Depends on healthcare provider plans. Clients unaffiliated with a healthcare provider receive ten meals (five lunches and five dinners) once per week.
Learn more: 

Citymeals on Wheels
Type of service: Home-delivered meals and a mobile food pantry.
Eligibility requirements: Adults 60 years old or older who are physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to prepare nutritious meals or have no one to prepare meals for them.
Locations served: Throughout NYC.
Frequency of service: Once per day on weekends and holidays, when other City home-delivery meal programs are not operating.
Learn more: 

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
Type of service: Distribution of packages containing a variety of foods, such as milk, juice, grains, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, and canned fruits and vegetables, as well as information about preparing nutritious meals and referrals to health care providers as needed.
Eligibility requirements: Adults 60 years old or older who are low-income (earning less than 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines).
Locations served: Three NYC-based partners — NY Common Pantry, Kings County Hospital Center, and Food Bank for New York City — provide CSFP service throughout NYC and in parts of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. 
Frequency of service: Monthly.
Learn more: 

Invisible Hands
Type of service: Free home delivery of ordered groceries, medicine, and other essentials. The recipient pays for the items but delivery is free. 
Eligibility requirements: At-risk individuals, including older adults, immunocompromised individuals, disabled individuals, and those otherwise unable to go to a store. 
Locations served: Throughout NYC, Long Island, Northern New Jersey, and Rockland and Westchester counties. 
Frequency of service: On demand; however, as a volunteer-run service, it might take up to a week between when items are ordered and when they can be delivered.
Learn more: 

Type of service: Paid assistance for meal delivery, ridesharing, and other needs. GoGoGrandparent vets and facilitates the usage of popular on-demand services so that older adults can use them safely and easily.
Eligibility requirements: All adults, but the targeted audience is older adults and people living with disabilities.
Locations served: Throughout the United States.
Frequency of service: On demand
Learn more: 

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