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Nutrition Programs

Eating right and being physically active are keys to staying healthy throughout life. 

Nutrition programs across Oregon are a vital component to helping older adults stay independent and healthy.

ResourcesVouchersProgram informationSenior Farm Direct Nutrition Program


Restaurant and voucher resources

​Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) in Oregon and nationally have been exploring ways of working with local restaurants or other food service establishments  such as hospitals, schools, department of corrections, or grocery stores to provide meals that meet local needs as well as state and Older Americans Act (OAA) requirements.  Some of the models include:

  • A restaurant or other food service establishments serves as the meal site instead of a more traditional site such as a senior or community center.
  • Vouchers are provided by the AAA to enable participants to redeem vouchers for meals in one or more restaurants or other food service establishments.
  • AAA or nutrition sites purchase food from one or more restaurants, with the restaurant food served at an existing traditional meal site.

Benefits to these models include ability to meet food and dining preferences of a more diverse population, or to offer meal programs in rural areas where there may not be options for traditional meal sites.  However, these alternative models also raise potential challenges that AAAs must address in order to meet OAA expectations for meal content, donations, data collection, socialization opportunities, and links to other aging services.  Costs may also be higher than in traditional settings, and traditional approaches to fundraising for meal programs may need to be addressed differently. 

AAAs and the SUA worked together to develop the following resources and guidelines to assist AAAs in exploring options for providing meals through these non-traditional approaches.

  • Resource and Voucher Program Guidelines – Oregon guidelines and check-off list to assist AAAs in developing agreements with restaurants or other food service providers.
  • Restaurant-based Congregate Nutrition Sites and Restaurant Voucher Programs – article from the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging on benefits and challenges of voucher programs
  • Oregon Menu Component Review – Word and Excel version of menu component grid that can be used by restaurants or AAA nutrition programs to ensure meals obtained through agreements with other food service providers meet basic OAA requirements.

Program information

Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Program (SFDNP)

This program gives eligible seniors checks to buy fresh, local fruit, vegetables and herbs at participating farmers markets and farm stands.

The program runs from June through November every year.

Participating in the program does not affect a person's medical assistance or SNAP benefits.

This is a federal program to improve nutrition for Oregon seniors and support local farmers. ​The program is run by the Oregon Health Authority in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services.

Learn more from this fact sheet​ or visit the program website for more information and a directory of locations where you can use the checks.

​Seniors who meet ALL of the following:

  • At least 62 years old by April 1 of the current year
  • Be receiving SNAP benefits or Medicaid on April 1 of the current year
  • Have income below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level in the current year
  • Be living in a situation where food is not provided

​Eligible seniors will automatically get a letter in the mail in late April each year.

Seniors who want to participate need to:

  • Sign and return the response card in the letter, or
  • Complete the online form available on the program website​.
  • Make sure to reply by the due date in the letter.

Funding is limited and the program can't always serve all eligible seniors.​