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Congregate Meals for Older Adults is a Key Component to Ending Hunger

Written by Jodi Tyson
Date: Friday, July 5, 2019

On June 3, 2019, 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. 

As the baby boomer generation ages, and more adults retire and struggle to make ends meet on fixed incomes, it is of the upmost importance that congregate meal programs in Nevada grow and flourish. Legislators this session can take a bow for addressing the reimbursement disparity. Through this new bill, the community in Southern Nevada now has the opportunity to address the issue of availability and access to congregate meals for older adults. If you or your organization is interested in volunteering at a current congregate meal site, or starting up a new one please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1$ = 6 Meals

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Three Square Food Bank (Three Square) is registered with the Secretary of State and qualified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, and a member of Feeding America. Established in 2007, Three Square is Southern Nevada’s only food bank and the area’s largest hunger-relief organization. Our mission is to provide wholesome food to hungry people, while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community. Your charitable contribution to Three Square is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.