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Celebrate, Innovate, Educate: 50 years of nutrition services

Alicia Colombo

By Najja R. Orr, MBA, PCA president & CEO

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, which provides grants to help support meals programs and other nutrition services for older people throughout the country. Nutrition programs include home-delivered meals, healthy meals served in group settings, nutrition screenings and assessments, healthy food education, and nutritional counseling.

Nutrition services provide an important link to other supportive in-home and community-based supports, such as home health aide services, transportation, exercise classes, chronic disease self-management programs, home repairs and modifications, and falls prevention programs.

The pandemic has further exacerbated and made clear the need to combat malnutrition and hunger. Going forward into 2022, PCA will continue our efforts that strengthen nutrition programs and tackle food insecurity. We intend to make sure we are putting the right programs in place to serve more older adults and adults living with disabilities by providing them with healthy food and ongoing nutrition services.

Several initiatives are underway to look at ways to shape future nutrition programs, including how can we be more culturally sensitive by advocating for policy change. Nutrition should be person-centered, like much of our planning and programming, giving individuals choice.

We must do a better job of ensuring regulations are more inclusive going forward. This translates into an inclusivity that relates to how we look at our menus and the types of food we provide to older adults. Our voice of advocacy is key in supporting culturally sensitive nutrition options that are also healthier options. (For more information about the Senior Nutrition Program and PCA’s meal services, Click Here>>)

Celebrating Women’s History Month

“The achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America were as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well,” said President Jimmy Carter in his designation of National Women’s History Week in 1980.

Since 1987, March has been observed nationally as Women’s History Month to celebrate the contributions of women to our history, culture and society. But we must do more than just remember women’s past accomplishments. We must continue to advocate for gender equity in health care, pay and all other aspects of society. It is not enough to merely ensure that women have a seat at the table; we must ensure equal representation for women in government, the workforce and educational opportunities.

Categories: Food Milestones eNews


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