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.
- Governor Hochul Announces More Than $3.8 Million Awarded to Improve Seniors’ Access to Locally Grown Foods (NY.gov)
- More Than a Market: Senior Citizens Receive Free Vouchers for Fresh Goods (Oxford Eagle)
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.
- Attendance at Senior Centers Slowly Rebounds as Older New Yorkers Seek Food and Friends (The City)
- NYC Emergency Management Presents Ready New York Older Adult Center of the Year Award (NYC.gov)
- Greenwich House Older Adults Dance the Night Away at Anniversary Celebration (amNY)
- Mayor Adams, Department for the Aging Distribute 1,000 Free Computer Tablets to Older New Yorkers and Connect Them With City Services (NYC.gov)
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.
- God’s Love We Deliver Marks Nearly a Half-Century of Feeding New York in Body and Soul (amNY)
- Food is Medicine for God’s Love We Deliver Clients (Spectrum News)
- R.I.P. Ganga Stone, Who Fed People Living With AIDS and Cofounded GLWD (POZ)
- ‘It’s Like Kismet’: How a Long-Empty Building Found the Perfect Tenant (New York Times)
- New CEO to Helm God’s Love We Deliver, Longtime Provider of Free Meals (POZ)
- God’s Love We Deliver: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight (nycfoodpolicy.org)
- God’s Love We Deliver Gets a New Building That Will Propel Its Charitable Mission Forward (Architectural Digest)
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.
- Citymeals on Wheels Volunteers Deliver 16,000 Dinners to New Yorkers on Christmas (CBS New York)
- Thanksgiving 2022: Citymeals on Wheels Delivers 16,000 Turkeys to Home Bound Seniors (ABC 7)
- Gael Greene, Who Shook Up Restaurant Reviewing, Dies at 88 (New York Times)
- Stocking Up: Citymeals on Wheels Ready to Deliver Thousands of Winter Food Packages to Senior New Yorkers (amNY)
- Citymeals on Wheels Volunteers Deliver More than Just Hot Meals (nycfoodpolicy.org)
- On 40th Anniversary, Citymeals on Wheels Provides 20K ‘Festive Meals’ to Elderly New Yorkers (CNN)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Renew “Your Met Art Box” in Collaboration with Citymeals on Wheels (The City Life)
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.
- NY Common Pantry NOURISH
- New York Common Pantry Opens New Location for Seniors in the South Bronx (CBS)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program: Who’s Eligible and How to Apply? (Marca)
- Don’t Qualify For SNAP? The Commodity Supplemental Food Program Could Help Seniors Get Food (GO Banking Rates)
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.
- Invisible Hands Expands to Deliver Free Groceries to the ‘Food Insecure’; Here’s How You Can Help (West Side Rag)
- The Invisible Hands Team on Delivering Supplies—and Joy—During The Coronavirus Outbreak (Vogue)
- Young People Deliver Supplies To Elderly In New York City (NPR)
- Spotlight on Service: Invisible Hands Co-Founder Liam Elkind ’22 (Yale Alumni News)
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
- GoGoGrandparent Lets People Without Smartphones Use On-Demand Services Like Uber (TechCrunch)
- New Service Helps Seniors Without Smartphones Take Advantage of Popular App Services (WBTV)
- Need a Ride? You Have Options, Car Service Choices (AARP)
- Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using Uber and Lyft? (New York Times)
- Your Blind Grandma Alone In A Lyft Actually Solves A Social Problem (Forbes)