Survival Guide: Navigating COVID-19 Guidance for Those Administering Title IIIC Programs

Updated:  May 22, 2020

During this pandemic, ACL has provided information, guidance, technical assistance, and program implementation tips to assist states in meeting the nutritional needs of the seniors.  These resources have been published on the ACL COVID website and on the website of the National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging

Because this has been a rapidly and frequently changing situation, these resources have been iterative, and we know it has become difficult to quickly determine which resource contains the information you need. This Survival Guide is intended to help by linking you to the resources (which are primarily nutrition focused but also include OAA Title III- B and E information that helps the user of this guide navigate nutrition matters) that best addresses a variety of topics. This guide will be updated periodically.

Comparing Authorities

The Older Americans Act (OAA) provides significant flexibility to allow states to meet the unique needs of their older citizens. In addition, states are operating under four disaster authorities that provide additional flexibilities. This Excel spreadsheet created by NRCNA explains these authorities.

ACL Fiscal Guidance: Found on ACL’s COVID-19 Page



Topic Highlights

Frequently Asked Questions: Title III-B and Title III-E

April 23

Permissibility of paying for various items such as grocery delivery, tablets, computers, cell phones, internet, etc. to help seniors connect with persons to combat social isolation. 

For nutrition, purchase of tablets, computer, cell phone and internet could include virtual nutrition education, evidence-based /health promoting programs to promote health and well-being, access to online ordering systems, and/or virtual congregate sites to enhance socialization.

Fiscal FAQ: Fiscal Major Disaster

April 8

When operating under an MDD

  • How funds can be “bucketed”

Match requirements

FISCAL FAQ- COVID-19 Emergency

April 8

When NOT operating under an MDD

  • Funding transfer authorities for C-1 and C-2;
  • Match requirements;

Reporting, etc.



Fiscal FAQ: Fiscal Major Disaster

April 8

How long FFCRA and CARES Act funds are available


Expediting Expenditures at the State Level in Responding to the COVID-19 Emergency

April 6

Statewide Procurement

OAA Disaster Relief Authority

March 16

Information on OAA authority

ACL Program Guidance:



Topic Highlights

FAQs – Groceries and OAA Programs

May 20

FAQs that address common questions about providing groceries through OAA programs (i.e. use of groceries and meal counts, grocery pickup/delivery and services authorized under Title III-C).

Returning to a “New Normal:” Guidelines for a phased approach to resuming senior nutrition program operations

May 5

Suggestions for operating at different levels of social distancing 

FAQs: Based on Call with ACL and SUA Directors on April 22, 2020

April 29

COVID-19 supplemental funds spending priorities

Additional FAQ: OAA Nutrition Program Implementation During COVID-19 Pandemic-April 17, 2020

April 17

Additional nutrition questions, meals per person, vendor selection, state procurement, meal rates

FAQs Based on Call with ACL and State Unit on Aging Directors on April 8, 2020


April 14

Personal protective equipment; equipment purchases for the nutrition program; major disaster flexibilities; purchasing freezers

FAQs Based on Call with ACL and State Unit on Aging Directors on April 1, 2020



April 7

Flexibilities in Cares Act, innovations from other states; serving people of any age;  emergency meals; DRIS/DGAs, 1/3 calorie intake; Major Disaster Declarations, and Time Frame Expenditures

Questions and Answer from the Meals on Wheels America Town Hall on March 17, 2020

March 31

Specific nutrition implementation questions

Nutrition Services Incentive Program for the Older Americans Act and States


March 30

Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP)

FAQs: Call with State Directors hosted by ADvancing States on March 23, 2020

March 27

States increasing meals served; increasing food to senior; eliminate waitlist; socialization

FAQ: Nutrition Services- Emergency Management


March 12

Program specific questions around implementation of practices, emergency meals, and how to administer the nutrition program during emergencies

ACL Reporting Requirements

Check this resource Location


Topic Highlights

Title VI Reporting Guidance For Covid-19 Response Activities


May 4

OAA Title VI Reporting Requirements for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES) funding

OAA Title-III Program Reporting Guidance

May 4

Guidance regarding programmatic OAA Title III reporting on the FFCRA and CARES Act supplemental grant funds, as well as services provided by states exercising flexibility under a major disaster declaration (MDD).

Nutrition Resource Center Implementation Tip Sheets: The Nutrition Resource center is funded by a Cooperative Agreement with ACL. Tip sheets are developed to provide you with how to guides, best practices, etc. to help you through this crisis.

All of the following are found on the NRCNA COVID-19 web page

Tip Sheet



Options for Contracting Meals During COVID-19

May 14

Options for contracting meals during COVID-19 (suggestions for potential meal providers and tools to utilize when reviewing and evaluating potential meal providers)


Partnerships with Foodbanks and other United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Programs during Covid-19

May 14

Information on how to partner with the many USDA programs to address food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition

1/3 Calorie Intake Requirements During COVID-19

April 28

Includes minimum requirements, calorie charts 

Volunteer Engagement and Recruitment Resources

April 21

Resources for recruiting volunteers

Contracting Tips for Purchasing Meals/Food  

April 20

Tips for negotiating with vendors of meals/food

Guide to Working with Restaurants and Grocery Stores for Meals

April 17

Suggestions for working with restaurants and grocery stores as meal vendors

Nutrition Requirements: DRIs/DGAs under Supplement Funding Due to COVID-19 Emergency

April 3

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)/Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs)

COVID-19 Suggestions for Senior Nutrition Programs offering Home Delivered Meals

March 30

Program policies and practical tips during COVID-19

COVID-19 Suggestions for Senior Nutrition Programs

March 30

Suggestions for maintaining congregate and home delivered programs, increasing meals/food delivery, and engaging older adults during social distancing

Frequently Asked Emergency Management Questions for Aging Services Professionals at the State and Local Levels

March 12

Serving meals during an emergency


Other Resources: Additional resources are available on ACL’s COVID-19 Page. Below are a few highlighted resources that you might find helpful.


Topic Highlights



Community and Faith Based Organizations

Information and resources for reopening community and faith based organizations

May 4


Shared and Congregate Housing

Information and resources for reopening shared and congregate housing

April 30


Reconstitution During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Planning considerations for organizations

April 30


FEMA Public Assistance Program Guidance: Eligibility of Purchasing and Distributing of Food by Gov’t and Non-Profits

Requirements for determining eligible work and costs for the purchase/distribution of food

April 21

ADvancing States -Social Isolation

Creative and thoughtful approaches to addressing social isolation/loneliness in older adults. Also includes alternative meal delivery options

April 9

NCOA Senior Centers Without Walls

Toolkit for those offering essential services. Provides ideas for promoting social connection to participants.



NCOA “Virtual Platform” Sheet

Overview of popular tools to connect with your audience when outreach and education are taking place at a distance.



NCOA – FAQ Covid-19 and Technology Resources

FAQs related to discounted tablets and electronic devices, learning basic functions of electronic devices, and resources for obtaining internet access.




Last modified on 05/22/2020

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