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During the last week, for the health and well-being of older adults and senior center staff, NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) has been phasing out “grab and go” meals and ramping up a centralized program of meals delivered directly to the homes of clients of congregate sites. The direct delivered meal system that began last week as a pilot will expand to serve all clients in all five boroughs starting yesterday, Monday, March 30, 2020.
DFTA’s congregate meals clients will receive direct delivery, which includes a five-meal package delivered to each older adult every week. DFTA has contracted with several vendors to deliver to these senior center participants directly. Because of this, Grab-and-Go meals will no longer be offered starting today.
- The most direct path to access direct delivery meals is through the senior center. Older adults can do this by connecting with their local senior center. They can also call DFTA’s Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) or call 311.
- Senior centers that have the capacity to deliver existing frozen or shelf-stable food directly to the homes of their members are free to do so. However, senior centers will cease this service upon depletion of current stock and revert completely to the centralized meal delivery service.
- Homebound older adults already receiving home-delivered meals through DFTA’s case management agencies will continue as usual. Those interested in signing up should call to see if they are eligible for home-delivered services by calling DFTA’s Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) or calling 311.
- In addition to helping ensure DFTA clients receive a daily meal, senior center providers are also making thousands of social engagement calls daily to ensure senior center members are not socially isolated during this crisis. Moreover, DFTA’s in-home services (including friendly visiting, case management, geriatric mental health, and others) have transitioned to a telephonic or virtual approach in an effort to combat social isolation.
- The City continues to work on addressing larger food insecurity through a broader initiative and will keep Dr. Seminara posted on upcoming efforts.