In March, the Department of Seniors Affairs joins senior nutrition service providers across the country to reflect on 50 years of the National Seniors Nutrition Program. This comes after two years of modifications to successfully serve the department’s mission and continue to meet the changing needs of community members throughout the pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Senior Affairs determined which programs could stay in place and continue to meet the needs of Bernalillo County seniors. The City of Albuquerque Senior Affairs (CASA) kitchen prepared approximately 920,000 meals for seniors during the peak months of the pandemic, more than doubling the number of meals normally served. As COVID cases decline, the average number of daily meals served is around 1,500 seniors, with 46% of the daily average providing homebound seniors with meals delivered to their homes.

“Our Senior Nutrition Meal Program has always been crucial in enabling isolated seniors to connect and stay engaged.” said Anna Sanchez, director of the Department of Superior Affairs. “When affected by the impending impact of the pandemic, our kitchen has strengthened, providing an essential safety net for our community.”

Funded by the Older Americans Act, the nutrition program helps seniors in our community by promoting healthy eating, reducing social isolation and improving health. The program also provides connections to home and community services, including recreation and transportation services, making it easier for seniors to stay engaged in their community.

“The Seniors Nutrition Program has been helping seniors in our community for decades. We look forward to continuing to develop and innovate our services for generations to come. said Michelle Briscoe, director of the City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Area Agency on Aging.

For more information about services for seniors in Bernalillo County, visit cabq.gov/seniors or call 505-764-6400 (TTY: 1-800-659-8331) MF, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday calls will be routed to 311.