A message from Three Square's Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Jodi Tyson.
On June 3, at 9:00 p.m., three hours before the 80th Nevada Legislative Session adjourned, Senate Bill 443 (SB443) passed unanimously. This funding bill increases the reimbursement for sponsors of congregate meals for older adults (age 60 years or older) by $1 per meal, the first increase since 2001. Three Square Food Bank's Government Affairs team and our network of agencies working to address gaps through our Senior Hunger Program advocated tirelessly for this modest increase, and they cheered joyfully upon its passage.
Congregate meals for older adults are critical to our mission of ending hunger in Southern Nevada. Sponsors of congregate meals not only provide a healthy meal, but also provide opportunities for socialization. Three Square conducted a study of more than 600 food insecure older adults and nearly 48 percent reported feelings of loneliness. An evaluation of congregate meal programs nationwide reported that sharing a meal with peers invokes a feeling of connectedness. With approximately 40 percent of older adults living alone in Nevada it is important to ensure that congregate meal programs are sustainable and accessible.