Human Services Department awards over $ 2.2 million for Congregate Meal Programs

The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced more than $2.2 million in funding for Congregate Meal Program services to 14 agencies across King County.

“Access to nutritious meals and social engagement are necessary for older adults to experience stable health” said HSD Director Catherine Lester. “Like the Home Delivered Meals and Registered Dietitian programs, the Congregate Meal Program ensures that some of the most vulnerable in our city can remain independent, healthy, and connected to the community. This funding allows us to partner with local agencies to better serve older adults.”

The Congregate Meal program provides nutritious meals in a group setting, opportunities for social engagement, and access to services and health promotion related activities for older adults throughout King County. This program aims to reduce hunger and food insecurity, promote socialization of older individuals, promote health and well-being, and delay adverse health conditions. Those who participate have improved food and nutrient intake, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, or improved nutritional status.

Fourteen agencies were chosen from a pool of fifteen applicants to receive funding. They include:

• Asian Counseling and Referral Service ($184,059),
• Associated Recreation Council ($31,272),
• Catholic Community Services ($497,526)
• El Centro de la Raza ($56,025),
• Filipino Community of Seattle ($114,210),
• Greater Maple Valley Community Center ($33,108),
• Korean Women’s Association ($44,415),
• Mt. Si Senior Center ($48,060),
• Multicultural Self-Sufficiency Movement ($62,181),
• Pike Market Senior Center ($115,000),
• Seattle Chinatown International District PDA ($106,413.75),
• Sound Generations ($827,463.25),
• Ukrainian Community Center of WA ($77,120), and
• United Indians of All Tribes Foundation ($47,200).

Funding for Congregate Meal Programs is prioritized per Older Americans Act requirements. Priority communities for congregate meal sites include:

• older adults in rural areas,
• older adults at or below federal poverty guidelines,
• older adults at risk of experiencing cultural, social, or geographic isolation (due to race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation),
• older adults with limited English proficiency,
• older adults with severe disabilities,
• older adults with dementia or related disorders and,
• older adults at risk for institutional placement

Focus populations—specific racial or ethnic groups within the priority community showing the highest disparities in the investment areas include:

• Black/African Americans, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Multiracial older adults (60+)
• Other racial/ethnic minority older adults (60+) that experience poor health status
• Low income older adults (60+) that speak another language and not able to speak English very well including Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Khmer, Arabic, Samoan, *Cushite and others. *Cushite includes Somali and Oromo

Selected agencies demonstrated the ability to provide nutritious meals, health and social services, through culturally and socially responsive practices for priority communities, and focus populations–specific racial or ethnic groups showing the highest disparities within priority communities. Among the 60+ population, Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latino adults are 50% more likely to be in fair or poor health compared to white non-Hispanic older adults, whereas American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial older adults are 20% more likely.

The contract period for Congregate Meal programs is from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, providing services from 48 nutrition sites across King County.