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Starting this past Friday, the Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s Home Delivered Meals program has expanded to 5-day delivery, Monday through Friday, in the Town of Hyde Park and the City of Poughkeepsie. The Home Delivered Meals Program provides hot, nutritious midday meals to senior citizen residents of Dutchess County who live in their own homes but are unable to cook, shop, or prepare meals for themselves. The program has operated Monday through Thursday throughout the county, with recipients receiving frozen and shelf-stable meals for other days. The program expansion was an legislative amendment to the 2017 Dutchess County Budget, providing an additional $100,000 in funding to provide for the expanded delivery days. Locations beyond the Town of Hyde Park and City of Poughkeepsie will be rolled out over the summer.
Dutchess County Legislator Will Truitt said, “This program has an incredible impact on lives of so many seniors in our community, enabling them to continue to live independently in their own home. Expanding the program to 5 days a week ensures our most vulnerable seniors are healthy and safe. After bringing the funding amendment forward during the budget process, I am thrilled to see the program expansion become a reality this week in Hyde Park and the City of Poughkeepsie and look forward to the expansion going countywide in the coming months.”
“The Home Delivered Meals program serves three key purposes,” Office for the Aging Director Todd Tancredi said. “Not only do we help ensure that seniors are getting a nutritious meal, the delivery also serves as a daily wellness check for the seniors. If our drivers notice that a senior isn’t available to receive their meal, and there’s no explanation, they’re trained to ensure the resident’s safety and get the necessary assistance.”
Tancredi continued, “Additionally, many seniors look forward to our driver’s arrival because it may be the only social contact they have that day. We do everything we can to help seniors avoid isolating themselves, because social isolation and loneliness are key contributors to declines in physical and mental health.”
Office for the Aging staff and volunteers prepare and deliver the midday meals to approximately 330 qualified homebound seniors. It is one of several nutrition and socialization programs that OFA provides for residents; other programs include eight Senior Friendship Centers offering congregate meals, as well as a wide variety of activities and the summer senior picnic program.
The expansion of the Home Delivered Meals program is part of Dutchess County’s recent efforts to continue to improve services for seniors. In May, the County’s Senior Friendship Center in Pawling (154 Charles Colman Blvd.) expanded its days of operation from two a week to three, and is now open Tuesday through Thursday.
To learn more about qualifying for Home Delivered Meals, as well as the Senior Friendship Centers and other services available to aging residents of Dutchess County, call (866) 486-2555, go to www.dutchessny.gov/aging, or email email@example.com.