Senior hunger and overall poor well being are serious threats for Tennessee seniors.
There are multitude of resources listed in The Directory of Services for Seniors© that can assist seniors in accessing nutrition and other resources for improving overall health and well being.
The Council on Aging is here to help seniors and their caregivers access health and nutrition resources to live healthier lives!
ReNEW (Nutrition Exercise and Wellness)
ReNEW (Nutrition, Exercise & Wellness)© is a booklet created by the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville’s Community Assessment Committee to address the specific health and wellness concerns of older adults by providing healthy food guidelines and information regarding physical health and overall wellness.
Print copies are available for FREE at the COA office or have a copy mailed to you for a postage fee of $4 (send a check payable to COA to 95 White Bridge Road, Suite 114, Nashville, TN 37205 with the title of the publication you are requesting and your mailing address).
Nutrition Programs for Tennessee Seniors
There are many programs to help older Tennesseans get proper nutrition including:
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers one nutritionally balanced meal to home-bound seniors per day. In addition to food, the volunteer drivers provides a friendly visit and a safety check which helps in the programs goal to keep seniors independent in their homes for as long as possible.
Typical eligibility requirements:
Age 60 or over;
Confined to home (illness, incapacitation or disability);
Unable to prepare own meals;
Inability to receive nutritious meals from family, friends or other resources.
Congregate meals are provided in senior citizen centers, churches, community centers and other facilities throughout the Greater Nashville region. In addition to a nutritious meal, this program offers participants an opportunity for socialization and participation in activities.
These centers serve meals Monday through Friday, except for holidays.
Meals are available to anyone 60+ years, and their spouses, at no cost.
Senior centers also offer many activities and opportunities to make friends. Activities include exercise classes and bingo, health education and screening, shopping assistance, transportation, and information assistance.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps older Tennesseans avoid having to choose between food and medicine.
To find out if you or a senior you know qualify to receive SNAP benefits, read these Frequently Asked Questions, visit the TN SNAP website or call 1-866-311-4287.
Is this charity?
No. SNAP is funded through your tax dollars. The program is designed to help older adults and those with disabilities who may need extra assistance to purchase the nutritious foods they need to maintain their health.
What does the program cover?
SNAP funds can be used to buy food in most grocery stores and some farmers’ markets. It cannot be used to buy non‐food items such as soap, beer or pet food.
Where can I use SNAP?
Great question. SNAP can be used at grocery stores, local markets, and at some farmers’ markets. Stores accepting SNAP display the SNAP sign at their locations.
How do I apply?
Get an application by calling either of these agencies:
Community Food Advocates (615) 385‐2286
Dept. of Human Services (DHS) (615) 532‐4000
— Outside Davidson County (DHS) 1‐866‐311‐4287
You can also go online to apply at www.tn.gov/humanserv
Click on “Apply For Benefits.”
If you are over 60 or are disabled, you can
apply by mail or online.
Community Food Advocates
This organization works with the USDA Food Stamp Program and the Tennessee Department of Human Services to help seniors make an informed decision on whether they might qualify for SNAP and then facilitate the application process.
How can this program help me?
Money doesn’t go as far as it used to. It can be hard to make a
fixed income cover the increasing costs of housing, health care,
food and other needs. With SNAP assistance some of your normal
monthly income, such as Social Security, will be freed up and the
money you save can be used for other expenses you have such as
medicines or other medical supplies.
Do I qualify?
Many older adults (60 and older) with limited monthly income may qualify for SNAP. There are income guidelines that must be met. As an older adult or person with a disability, you can have up to $3,000 in assets and still qualify. Your home and car do not count as assets. The cash value of burial plots and most life insurance policies also do not count as resources.For those 60 and older, medical, shelter and utility expenses may be deducted from the income that is counted.
This Pre-Screening Tool can be used to determine if you are eligible for SNAP benefits.
What happens after I apply?
After DHS receives your application, they conduct an interview. This can be done by phone for older adults.
Once a year a follow‐up interview will be held by phone.
Your benefit card will be mailed to you. Each month your benefit will be added to your card automatically.
How to access Senior Nutrition Programs:
For more information about nutrition services call the Greater Nashville Regional Council Area Agency on Aging and Disability Information and Assistance Helpline at 615-255-1010 or toll free at 1-866-836-6678.
Call 1-866-836-6678 or visit tnaaad.org to locate food pantries and other services in your community.
For meals in Davidson County, contact Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County-Metro Social Services at 615-880-2292.
For meals in the surrounding counties, (Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson Counties) contact Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency at 615-850-3910.
NPT Aging Matters explores Tennessee Senior Health and Wellness
TN ranks 41 in Overall Senior Health
The 2013 Senior Report finds Tennessee seniors among the least healthy in the nation.
Seniors and Access to Nutrition
Many seniors in Tennessee struggle to get adequate nutrition.
TN ranks 50th in the Physical Activitiy of Seniors
America’s Health Rankings Senior Report ranked Tennessee seniors the least likely to be physically active in the nation.