ACL recently awarded cooperative agreements aimed at validating successful and innovative senior nutrition program models, including those created during COVID-19. Three community research grants, totaling $1,449,618 in FY22 awards, will focus on sustaining congregate and home-delivered meal programs as well as delivering impactful nutrition education. Seven replication grants, totaling $769,622 in FY22 awards, will demonstrate the ability to replicate previously funded Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services Research and demonstration grant projects that have demonstrated positive impacts on socialization and the health and nutritional status of older adults.
Community Research Projects
Texas State University (TX): The goal of the project is to evaluate and sustain a scalable, non-traditional, multi-platform, food delivery application called NUEVA (Nutrition for Underserved Elderly Via Application). The app aims to improve food and nutrition security, combat loneliness and isolation, improve health, and reduce food loss and waste.
University of Utah (UT): The grantee will conduct a randomized controlled trial to investigate how the social determinants of health (SDOH) impact malnutrition and physical activity treatment outcomes among underserved congregate meal participants. Products will include a replicable, sustainable malnutrition and frailty screening model, a malnutrition and physical activity program, and a person-centered “Road Map to Promote Nutrition and Physical Activity Health Equity.”
LifeCare Alliance (OH): The project will develop and test SixtyPLUS, a multifaceted intervention that involves an in-depth assessment of home-delivered meal clients’ needs, followed by the delivery of tailored services provided by registered dietitians and occupational therapists. The project will create training tools and resources to support the replication of SixtyPLUS by other aging service agencies nationwide.
Replication Grant Projects
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley (MA): REUNIR (Reconnecting Elders Underserved through Nutrition Interventions with Restaurants) is a restaurant partnership project that aims to improve access to healthy meals and increase social engagement for immigrant and refugee communities. The project will sustain, expand, and scale an existing restaurant pilot to additional communities.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (AR): The project goal is to replicate an evidence-based suicide intervention training. Project goals include developing a collaborative model with capacity to increase food security and identify suicide risk for a target population of marginalized older adults.
New Opportunities, Inc. (CT): The project will open a restaurant program in an area with a large population of low-income seniors. The restaurant will be the focal point, surrounded by health, fitness, cultural programming, and educational opportunities. Project goals include expanding access to nutritious meals, improving nutrition knowledge, reducing social isolation, reducing health challenges, expanding access to fresh food, and forming a collaborative of community providers to sustain the project.
Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging (IL): The project goal is to expand, enhance, and maintain a region-wide coordinated congregate dining program. The objectives are to increase older adults’ participation in congregate dining, reduce social isolation, and expand restaurant partnerships.
Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (IN): The project will develop a customized Addressing Malnutrition in Community Living Adults Toolkit. Project goals include screening for and addressing social determinants of health, communicating effectively with healthcare partners regarding malnutrition risk and older adults, and ensuring the sustainability of the project in the community through robust strategies.
Waupaca County (WI): The project will develop a restaurant partnership congregate dining model for older adults that results in measurable improvement of nutritional status, food security, and overall satisfaction over traditional congregate services, as well as decreased loneliness and isolation.
Humboldt Senior Resource Center (CA): The project’s goals are to reduce hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition; promote socialization; and promote health and well-being, particularly among rural seniors at high nutritional risk. The project will increase access to nutrition services while increasing congregate program attendance and contributions by expanding and updating the dining service model to the café model, introducing pop-up locations, and expanding the service area.
Learn more about the Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services Research Grants.