Gov. Mark Dayton has declared the month of October 2013 as Senior Nutrition Month to highlight a 40-year tradition of bringing healthy eating and community to seniors, helping them maintain good health and independence.
“Hunger should have no place in our communities, especially among our most valued, and often most vulnerable Minnesotans — senior citizens,” said Governor Dayton. “Over the last four decades, communities across the state have united to help serve millions of nutritious meals to older Minnesotans. This work is essential in the fight against hunger, and in ensuring that people of all ages have access to a healthy meal. This month, I encourage all Minnesotans to join the effort to improve senior nutrition in our state.”
The declaration comes shortly after Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS), one of the state’s first organization’s to offer Senior Nutrition, celebrated 40 years of dining service to older adults. In 1973, the first dining site opened in Moorhead. Today, Senior Nutrition services provide over 1.3 million meals each year in 39 Minnesota counties through 225 locations in northwestern, southwestern and south-central Minnesota.
“We hope Governor Dayton’s proclamation will give statewide Senior Nutrition services extra support to help ensure that seniors eat healthy, but also experience what we call ‘Abundant Aging’ where our older adults continue to have opportunities to contribute in our community and remain healthy and living independently in their own homes where they want to be,” explained Monica Douglas, program director of Senior Nutrition for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “With support from our neighbors, Lutheran Social Service will continue to offer seniors education, activities, volunteering and opportunities to make new friends for many more years to come.”
Funded in part by the Older Americans Act, through a contract with the Area Agency on Aging, Senior Nutrition provides nutritious, low-cost meals to older adults through congregate dining centers, diners clubs or personal delivery. In addition to a hot meal, Senior Nutrition offers older adults the opportunity to socialize and stay connected to their community. Seniors are also introduced to other community services and area professionals available to support them in their daily lives.