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Nutrition Program

Home-Delivered Meals and Group Site (Congregate) Meals

With the aging of the U.S. population, increased attention is being given to delivering health and related services to older persons in the community. Since adequate nutrition is critical to health, functioning, and quality of life, it is an important component of home and community-based services for older adults.

How it works  

The Elderly Nutrition Program provides meals served in group settings and delivered to people’s homes. Meals and other nutrition services are provided in a variety of settings, such as senior centers and churches.            

Group site meals: Meals are served weekdays in over 437 sites throughout the state including senior centers, churches, senior housing facilities and community buildings.

Home-delivered meals: When older adults cannot leave their homes and cannot personally prepare nutritious meals, home delivered meals are an available option. Volunteers who deliver meals to homebound older persons have an important opportunity to check on the welfare of the homebound elderly and are encouraged to report any health or other problems that they may observe during their visits.

Meals served under the Nutrition Program must provide at least one-third of the daily recommended dietary allowances established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council.

The Nutrition Program also provides a range of related services including nutrition screening, assessment, education and counseling.

Older adults who participate in either the group site (congregate) meal or home delivered meal programs are offered the opportunity to make voluntary contributions toward the cost of the program.  

Meals-on-Wheels Illinois  

Typically, federal and state funded meal programs allow for home-delivered meals on weekdays only. Illinois participates in a public/private partnership program known as MEALS-ON-WHEELS ILLINOIS. The program is designed to raise funds for holiday, weekend and emergency meals, helping fill the “gaps” left by federal and state funded home-delivered meal programs.  


Check out the Aging Healthfully monthly newsletter!

May - What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?  (More information and recipes)
June - National Dairy Month (More information and recipes)
July - Food as Medicine (More information and recipes)
August - National Farmers Market Week (More information and recipes)
September - Malnutrition - A Hidden Epidemic Among Seniors (More information and recipes)


Become a volunteer to prepare or deliver meals to seniors. Contact your local Senior Center for information on volunteer opportunities.


To locate a Nutrition Program near you, contact...