Department of Aging and Disability Services (ADS) field offices are closed to the public as of March 18, 2020 as a protective measure for the safety of our staff and the public. Staff are working and the agency continues to provide needed core services. In the interest of the health and safety of our staff and those we serve, we may not be able to provide certain services that do not allow for appropriate social distancing at this time. For more information on available services, please use this website or call toll-free 800-537-2549.

Elderly Nutrition Program


In 2012, ASPEN launched Malnutrition Awareness Week™, an annual campaign to fight malnutrition.  It is part of the National Health Observances Calendar and is observed this year on October 5 – 9. One of their focus areas is to reduce malnutrition in patients by raising its awareness and educating healthcare professionals and consumers on early intervention.


Malnutrition Awareness Week is an annual, multi-organizational campaign created by ASPEN and the goal is to:

•Educate healthcare professionals about early detection and treatment of malnutrition

•Educate consumers/patients on the importance of discussing their nutritional status with  

  healthcare professionals

•Increase awareness of nutrition’s role on patient recovery


The Defeat Malnutrition Today coalition is a diverse alliance of over 100 national, state, and local stakeholders and organizations, including community, healthy aging, nutrition, advocacy, healthcare professional, faith-based, and private sector groups. The coalition shares the goal of achieving the recognition of malnutrition as a key indicator and vital sign of older adult health; it works to create policy change toward a greater emphasis on screening, detecting, treating and preventing malnutrition.


Every 60 seconds, 11 hospitalized patients go undiagnosed with malnutrition.

Malnutrition has a negative impact on patient outcomes — higher infection rates, poor wound healing, longer lengths of stay, higher frequency of readmission, and increased costs. (AHRQ, 2018)


Each day, approximately 15,000 hospital patients with malnutrition go undiagnosed. Patients with malnutrition have higher hospital costs, longer stays, and increased mortality. ASPEN focuses on reducing the incidence of malnutrition by providing educational support and resources to healthcare professionals and consumers, and through our advocacy work for malnutrition prevention and treatment. Looks Can Be Deceiving. Get the facts on Malnutrition. Visit:'re%20Malnourished.pdf

Please click on the following links for infographics on malnutrition that you may share.

For additional information please feel free to contact the State Unit on Aging’s Nutrition Consultant or the dietitian or nutritionist at your local Area Agency on Aging or Elderly Nutrition Providers.


The Elderly Nutrition Program provides nutritionally balanced meals to individuals 60 years of age and over and their spouses. The program offers these adults the opportunity to live independently in their community by providing socialization and informal support networks. Meals are served at congregate meal sites, known as “Elderly Nutrition Providers”. The cafes are located in senior centers, elderly housing facilities, schools, churches, restaurants and other community settings. The program also provides nutrition screening, assessment, education and counseling to help participants meet their nutritional need. Home delivered meals may be provided to adults age 60 and older who are homebound or isolated.

Program Services
  • Provides meals and related nutrition services in congregate settings.
  • Provides home-delivered meals and related nutrition services for older individuals who are homebound or isolated and unable to go to a community café.
  • Presents opportunities for social engagement, information on healthy aging and meaningful volunteer roles which contribute to an older individual’s overall health and well-being.
  • Federal and State funds pay the program costs.
  • Voluntary donations are encouraged and used to provide additional program meals.
  • 60 years of age or older, or a spouse of an eligible participant.
  • A person with a disability under 60 years of age who lives with an older person.
  • A person with a disability under 60 years of age living in an elderly housing facility which has congregate meals sites.
To receive home delivered meals:
  • 60 years of age or older, homebound or isolated and qualify for home delivered meals as determined by an assessment
Income: There is no income eligibility requirement.
Services are targeted to older adults who:
  • have greatest economic or social needs.
  • are low-income and low-income minorities.
  • live in rural areas.
  • have limited English proficiency.
  • are at risk of institutional care.
Geographic restrictions
There are 5 Area Agencies on Aging who contract with Elderly Nutrition Meal providers to serve meals locally within their regions.
For more information and how to apply contact your local Area Agency on Aging.