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.  

Senior Nutrition Program Provider Trainings

Malnutrition - How Home and Community Based Programs Can Make an Impact
Malnutrition Training Handouts and Related Documents


Check out the Aging Healthfully monthly newsletter!

Aging can bring many health and physical changes.  In our monthly newsletter, Aging Healthfully,  you will find information on healthy eating, physical activity and lifestyle changes to help you stay healthy and active. Happy reading! 

January 2020 - Eating Healthy on a Budget (More information and recipes)
February 2020 - American Heart Month (More information and recipes)
March 2020 - National Nutrition Month ® (More information and recipes)
April 2020 - National Volunteer Month (More information and recipes)
May 2020 - May is Older Americans Month (More information and recipes)
June 2020 - National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month (More information and recipes)
July 2020 - Staying Hydrated During Summer ( More information and recipes)

2019 Newletters

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)

October - Fall into Healthy Eating Habits (More information and recipes)
November - National Diabetes Month (More information and recipes)
December - Healthy Holiday Meals (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, 

  • find a program in your area, or 

  • contact your local Area Agency on Aging; or              

  • the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.