Texas Health and Human Services will use a three-year, $750,000 grant to increase participation in the congregate meal program, which provides nutritious meals in a community setting to people age 60 and older.
“Having a place to go to share a meal and good company reduces hunger and food insecurity, and is important to maintaining good health,” said Wayne Salter, deputy executive commissioner for HHS Access and Eligibility Services. “Serving meals in a group setting is more than just nourishment for the body, it nourishes the soul for those who participate.”
While Texas’ aging population continues to grow, participation in the congregate meal program is declining. Established through the Older Americans Act of 1965, the program provides a wholesome meal in a community setting where people can socialize and participate in activities offered at the site, such as board games. The program includes nutrition education classes, chronic disease prevention classes, and other activities.
The grant will fund modernization of Texas’ congregate meal program through the creation of the Texas Congregate Meal Initiative. As part of the initiative, HHS will partner with Texas A&M University to conduct research to identify cause