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Nutrition Services

Aging Food and Nutrition Programs

There are a variety of food and nutrition programs offered through the Aging Network in Montana.  They are funded by federal Older Americans Act and USDA funds, state and local dollars and client contributions. 

The main goal of the programs is to enable older adults to remain healthy and independent, living in their homes and communities.  Additional benefits include:

  • Promoting health and prevent disease;
  • Reducing malnutrition risk and improve nutritional status;
  • Reducing social isolation; and
  • Linking older adults to community services

Those eligible for services include:

  • A person aged 60 years of age and older;
  • A spouse of any age;
  • A disabled person residing with a person 60 years of age or older; and
  • Disabled individuals, who reside in housing facilities for the elderly where a congregate site exists, are eligible for congregate meals.
  • Others may participate, but must pay the full cost of the meal.

Congregate Meals Program
Montana has about 170 congregate meal sites around the state.  The majority of these sites are senior centers, but churches, fraternal organizations, nursing homes, and restaurants also serve as meal sites.  Meals must comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Each site determines the frequency of meals served per week.  Over 1,000,000 congregate meals are served annually to over 25,000 people.  For more information, contact: your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-551-3191

Home Delivered Meals
Home delivered meals are targeted to those seniors who are unable to get to meal sites for a congregate meal.  The vast majority of home delivered meals are served hot, but they can be delivered cold, frozen, dried, canned or as supplemental foods.  Meals must comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Each site determines the frequency of meals served per week.  Over 600,000 home delivered meals are served annually to about 6500 people.  For more information, contact: your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-551-3191

Nutrition Education Programs
Aging meal sites provide nutrition education that promotes better health by providing accurate and culturally sensitive nutrition, physical fitness, or health (as it relates to nutrition) information and instruction to participants.  For more information, contact: your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-551-3191

Community Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
This USDA program provides food to elders 60 years of age and over and WIC families with children age 5 to 6 years old.  It provides a box of 30 pounds of food per month.  Elders must meet income requirements - 130% of federal poverty level eligibility guidelines - $1,211 for one $1,640 for a couple.

Currently there are about 7000 people being served under this program, the vast majority of them are elders.  Services are delivered through a variety of organizations, including senior centers and food banks.  For more information, contact: your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-551-3191

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
This USDA program serves elders 60 years of age and over.  Elders must meet income requirements - 185% of federal poverty level $1,723 for one person $2,333 for a couple.  Currently, about 2400 people are being served.  Clients receive coupons to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown in Montana. 
 
There are currently 10 markets that are participating in the program: Bozeman, Helena, Hamilton, Darby, Stevensville, Livingston, Manhattan, Miles City, and Missoula.  Billings has a program operated through the Billings Food Bank.  Local coalitions, which include senior centers, County Councils, Area Agencies on Aging, food banks and market masters, operate programs. For more information, contact: the State Aging Office at 1-800-332-2272 during normal business hours.

Nutrition Consultations
The Aging Services Bureau contracts with Minkie Medora, a Registered Dietitian from Missoula, to offer consultations regarding nutrition issues relating to senior citizens, food safety issues at senior meal sites and other related heath issues with any of the above listed providers. 

For more information, contact: 
State Aging Office at 1-800-332-2272 during normal business hours