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 who resides with the eligible senior;
  • 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 (800) 551-3191.

Home Delivered Meals

Home delivered meals are targeted to those older adults 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 6,500 people. For more information, contact your local Area Agency on Aging at (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 (800) 551-3191.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) offers a supplemental food package to Montana residents age 60 and above that meet the income eligibility requirements. The monthly food package supplements a senior's existing diet and contains a variety of foods with important nutrients for older adults. USDA foods in CSFP align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and contain reduced amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar. CSFP was designed to help meet the dietary needs of healthy older adults, however, the variety of foods offered are appropriate for several common diet-related health conditions among older adults.  For more information on the program and how to apply, please visit the Commodity Supplement Food Program webpage.

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

This United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program has once again awarded grant funding to Montana DPHHS, Senior and Long Term Care Division, Aging Services Bureau, who is partnering with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) to provide this great service.  This program serves older adults 60 years of age and over.  Older adults must meet income requirements - 185% of federal poverty level (2021) $1,986 monthly for one person or $2,686 for a couple.  Currently, about 1,700 Montana older adults are being served.  Participants receive coupons to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and raw honey produced in Montana - coupons can only be redeemed at participating Summer Farmer's Markets from June 1st to October 31st.  Look for the SFMNP / SNAP Vendor Poster to know if a farmer accepts SFMNP coupons.  Participant applications become available by early June each year, and older adults who are interested in receiving SFMNP coupons are encouraged to contact the local agency in their area.  There are currently (13) distribution sites (23) communities and their markets that are participating in the program. Farmers interested in accepting senior coupons during the Farmers' Markets in the participating area are required to complete an agreement and take part in a brief annual training. 

For more information on this program and Farmer training, visit CFAC or contact James Keys with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) at (406) 926-1625.

These Institutions are Equal Opportunity Providers

Nutrition Consultations

The Aging Services Bureau contracts with Jaime Larese, a Registered Dietitian from Helena, to offer consultations regarding nutrition issues relating to older adults, menu planning, food safety issues at senior meal sites and other related health issues.

For more information, contact the MT State Office on Aging, (800) 332-2272 during normal business hours.