Houston Health Department

aGING - Nutrition Program

Funded by the Older Americans Act, the Nutrition Program serves eligible older adults a nutritionally balanced meal, Monday through Friday (except approved holidays). Meals are served through a network of congregate and home delivered meal providers located in service areas throughout Harris County.

The primary target population for the nutrition program is older adults 60+, residing in Harris County, who are in greatest social-economic need and would benefit from a hot nutritional meal and a socialization opportunity. Individuals requesting nutrition services are interviewed and assessed to determine program eligibility.

The Congregate Nutrition Centers offer a daily nutritional meal, socialization opportunities, exercise, nutrition education, information and assistance, and a variety of other life-enhancing programs. Many of the centers provide physical fitness programs, health education, and special event opportunities. Where applicable, transportation can be made available to the nutrition site.

To qualify for the Home Delivered Meal Program, a person must be at least 60 years of age or older and/or the spouse of a 60+ participant who resides within Harris County and has an impairment that would prevent attendance at a congregate nutrition center. To determine eligibility of a meals on wheels participant, an intake worker will visit the home and complete an assessment. If determined eligible, a hot nutritional meal will be delivered to the older adult for five days a week, with the exception of holidays. Each participant is reassessed annually. Information and assistance is also available for home delivered meal recipients.

The Senior Meal Box Program, thorough the Houston Food Bank, distributes Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) food from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that is managed by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to income-eligible seniors (60+). Just under 10,000 Harris County seniors each month benefit from this federally-funded effort. In addition to distributing a monthly box of shelf-stable CSFP food (valued at $50 retail) to clients, the Senior Box Program has expanded its outreach to include distributing produce and other health-related items to seniors both inside and outside of Harris County.