** COVID-19 has increased the need for food resources and access to food statewide. **
** During this time, it is even more vital that older adults have access to healthy foods. **
The nutrition services program provides meals, socialization, and nutrition education to older adults. These services are provided in a variety of settings such as senior centers, meal sites, as well as to home-bound seniors in all 46 South Carolina counties. Our aim is to keep older adults living safely and independently at home for as long as possible - and to provide the tools necessary to make well-informed decisions that promote beneficial health and wellness practices.
How We Help
The South Carolina Department on Aging's (SCDOA) senior nutrition programs are funded by Older Americans Act (OAA) funds and State Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funds.
The goals of the programs are to:
- Reduce hunger food insecurity, and malnutrition
- Promote socialization of older adults
- Promote the health and well-being of older individuals by assisting such individuals to gain access to nutrition and other disease prevention and health promotion services; so as to delay the onset of adverse health conditions resulting from poor nutritional health or sedentary behavior
The program achieves these goals through:
- Group dining programs
- Home delivered meals programs
- Nutrition education/consultation
- Opportunities for socialization
- Referrals to other nutrition assistance programs
Both group dining and home delivered meals programs are required to be planned in accordance with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans and meet at least one-third of the daily recommended intakes of select nutrients. Registered Dietitians are involved in the meal planning process, and input from clients is utilized.
How to Find Nutrition Services in My Area
The SCDOA contracts with and oversees 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that coordinate Group Dining and Home Delivered Meal services to older adults, adults with disabilities, informal caregivers, and family caregivers.
Contact your designated AAA and inquire about available nutrition services in your area.
You can also visit out Food and Nutrition Resources page to find food banks and food pantries in your community.
Group Dining (Congregate Dining)/Nutrition Sites
Group dining programs are located at community nutrition sites and in senior centers across South Carolina. In addition to serving healthy meals, the program presents opportunities for social engagement, information on healthy aging, and meaningful volunteer roles. Participant contributions are welcome, but not required.
- Persons 60 years of age or older regardless of income level
- Spouses accompanying eligible participants
- Persons with a disability who live with an eligible participant
- Volunteers who provide services during meal hours
Senior centers may have libraries, foreign language classes, art classes, book clubs, line dancing, card groups, games and health and wellness activities.
If you have equipment or supplies that you would like to donate, contact your local senior center.
The Home Delivered Meals program provides nutritious meals and nutrition education to those who are home-bound. Participant contributions are welcome, but not required. The social contact of meal delivery may be the only contact a person has and also serves as a safety check.
- Persons 60 years of age or older who are home-bound because of illness incapacity, disability, or are otherwise isolated
- Spouses and caregivers of eligible participants if it is beneficial to the participant
- Persons with a disability who live at home with a participant
Get Involved... Volunteer!
There are many opportunities to get involved and contribute to enriching the lives of older adults in the community, such as assisting in the preparation and service of meals to assisting with social and learning activities.
Have a skill you would like to share? Contact your local senior center or meal site to learn how to share your skill and create opportunities for the community to come together.