Information for Older Adults

Here you will find resources for older adults on topics related to nutrition, connection, and wellness.

Resource Center Tip Sheets

Food Insecurity


Food and Meal Resources

Eating on a Budget

Shop Smart Interactive Site: Fill your cart with budget-friendly and healthy options from every food group as you are guided through each grocery aisle with this interactive tool.

Eat Right When Money is Tight: With food costs on the rise, learn how to stretch your food dollars by planning ahead, budgeting, making smart food choices, and preparing low-cost recipes.

Buying Produce in Season: Explore different fruits and vegetables that are in season throughout the year. Purchasing produce in season will help save on costs

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Healthy eating is important for any age and it can also be done on a budget.  Choose options that are full of nutrients and still stay within your budget.

Kitchen Time Savers: When trying to follow a budget, learn how planning ahead, using leftovers, and having convenient appliances can make meal preparations easy and cost efficient.

Iowa State University Grocery Budget Calculator: Estimate the cost of your groceries using this calculator based on the USDA’s low-cost food plan. How does what you spend on groceries compare to the estimates in the calculator?

Holidays on a Budget: Choose healthier options for the holidays.

Healthy, Thrifty, Holiday Menus: Make tasty affordable menus with recipes for holidays during each month. Menus and recipes include vegetarian options.


Shopping During Food Supply Issues

Food Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic: During a pandemic, you may be taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe and prepare, including making sure you have everything you need at home. Learn about food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips.  


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP Website: Learn about SNAP and how it provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food.

SNAP Online Purchasing: SNAP now allows you to purchase food online using your SNAP benefits. Find participating retailers in your state.

SNAP Eligibility Rules: Learn about SNAP eligibility rules, including special rules for households with elderly or disabled members.

Food Research & Action Center Interactive Map: Understand how SNAP is used in your state and how it compares nationally. 

NCOA SNAP Myths: SNAP is the largest domestic hunger safety net program, helping low-income older adults achieve food security. Many seniors are missing out on the benefit because they have misconceptions about the program.

NCOA SNAP for Older Adults: Millions of older adults are eligible for food assistance from SNAP. See if you qualify and learn how SNAP can help pay for food and ensure good nutrition as you age.

NCOA Benefits CheckUp: Provides support to help older adults complete and submit their SNAP application.

SNAP State Directory of Resources: Provides contact information for state SNAP offices.


Senior Farmers Markets

SNAP Benefits and Farmer’s Markets: SNAP supports local agriculture by allowing you to use SNAP benefits to purchase produce from local farmer’s markets.

Seniors Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP): SFMNP is designed to provide locally grown produce to low-income seniors, increase domestic consumption of agriculture products, and aide in development of additional farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and community agriculture programs.  

SFMNP Tip Sheet: Answers to common questions about the SFMNP, including what it is, who is eligible, where does the program operate, what foods are available through the program, and how farmers can sign up to accept SFMNP benefits for their produce.


Food Banks

Find Your Local Food Bank: Find your local food bank by entering your zip code or state.

How Food Banks Work: A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to hunger-relief charities. Learn the difference between a food pantry and a food bank, and how food banks secure, store/ship, and distribute food to support communities.

Hunger Relief Organizations: USDA provides a list of links to different organizations that can be helpful for those who are struggling with food insecurity.


Community & Personal Gardens

Community Gardens: Learn more about community gardens and their benefits. Community gardens are plots of land, usually in urban areas, or can be at senior centers. These areas can be for individuals or groups to benefit the participants or center, caring for the garden.

Gardening for a Healthier You (For Adults): Guidance on understanding gardening basic, recognizing nutritional benefits, developing new skills to maintain a garden, increasing consumption fresh produce, and promoting and sharing gardening experiences with others.

SNAP Gardening Links: Gardening can be a great way to grow food and SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food seeds. This gives participants an option to increase the fruits and vegetables that are available to them.

NC State Extension Community Food Gardening Handbook:  Learn how to organize and manage a community garden, including how to define community gardens and identify other partners.

Container Gardens: Sometimes care for larger gardens are very difficult for the aging population. Learning how to grow vegetables in containers can allow them to still benefit from fresh produce, save money, but still be easier to care for.


Other Education Resources

MYPLATE Print Materials: The benefits of healthy eating add up over time. Small changes matter. MyPlate is visual way to identify what your plate should look like if you are making healthier choices. MyPlate print materials site includes almost 100 education resources and numerous topics that can be used to help educate participants on everything from budget friendly to education on individual food categories. This site includes education on “Canned Pears 5 Ways”, “Brown Rice 5 ways” and many others.

Last modified on 10/25/2022

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