Adult Nutrition Programs

The New York State Office for the Aging estimates that one out of every four older adults living at home is nutritionally at-risk.

Good health is closely linked to diet. When older people eat less because of health problems or financial restrictions, they risk their ability to maintain an independent, healthy lifestyle. Hunger increases the risk of stroke, aggravates pre-existing health conditions, limits the usefulness of many prescription medications, and may affect brain chemistry, increasing the incidence of depression and isolation.

Hunger among older adults is likely to increase as 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day until 2030.

Following is an overview of the adult nutrition programs on which we focus. Links to other nutrition programs are included as well.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP provides a nutritional safety net for low-income people of all ages.

Monthly SNAP benefits are automatically deposited in participants’ accounts. Using a special debit card, participants can buy groceries at participating stores and farmers’ markets. SNAP benefits are free to those who meet eligibility and application requirements.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP ensures nutritious, safely prepared meals and snacks are available to functionally-impaired adults in community-based centers and day care settings. To find a center near you that participates in CACFP, click here.



Congregate Meals

Congregate meals are served in group settings up to five days a week at more than 1,000 sites across New York State. The meals are available to adults age 60 and older and their spouses, who can be of any age. Locations include senior centers, senior housing complexes and town halls. To find a congregate meal site, contact your local Office for the Aging.

Home-Delivered Meals

Individuals age 60 or older who are unable to prepare meals for themselves and don’t have help from friends or family may be eligible to participate in the home-delivered meals program. For more information, contact your local Office for the Aging.

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

New York’s SFMNP allows low-income older adults to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets across the state. The SFMNP provides an annual $20 allotment, as coupons, to income-eligible individuals enrolled in senior nutrition programs. For more information, contact your local Office for the Aging.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is our nation’s primary nutrition assistance program, stretching the monthly food budgets of all who meet program guidelines.

Child Nutrition Programs

There are many federally funded programs that help young New Yorkers access the healthy food they need to grow, learn, and be active.