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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Green River Area Development District

Learn how this agency partnered with a regional hospital and volunteers from a local senior center to establish a frozen meal program for homebound older adults.

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2020 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on the Green River Area Development District's Frozen Meals for Homebound Seniors program. The agency was a 2020 Aging Achievement Award winner in the Nutrition category. The 2020 AIA Awards were made possible thanks to the support of Centene.
 
Green River Area Development District (GRADD) partnered with Morrison Healthcare to transform leftover food from a Morrison Healthcare–run a cafeteria in a local hospital into frozen meals for homebound older adults. Approximately 75 homebound older adults receive two or three frozen meals per week in addition to their regular Monday through Friday home-delivered meals, providing them with a few extra meals for evenings and weekends. Volunteers at the Senior Community Center of Owensboro-Daviess County, one of GRADD's contracted providers, create and package meals from the leftover foods.
 
“Our clients report that they love the variety of the food that comes with this program. They often receive food options that the regular senior nutrition program cannot afford to serve,” said Jennifer Williams, Director for Aging and Social Services, GRADD.
 
Clients receiving the frozen meals report higher quality of life, additional financial resources and better nutrition. More than 10,000 meals have been donated at an estimated value of more than $75,000. Nutritional risk scores decreased by 50 percent for clients participating in the frozen meal program for six months or more.
 
“The frozen meals have kept our clients fed on weekends, holidays and even during inclement weather. During a snow and ice event, delivery drivers were able to deliver frozen meals on days when the regular hot meals were not available,” Williams added.
  
During the COVID-19 pandemic, GRADD experienced a drastic increase in its home-delivered meals program in Daviess County, KY. In some of the neediest cases, the frozen meals have been used to provide food while an individual is in the process to begin receiving hot meals on a regular basis. 
 
To learn more about the dashboard and scorecard system and how your agency can replicate this program in your community, contact Jennifer Williams, jenniferwilliams@gradd.com.

For more information about the 2020 winners, see the press release and read the book of winners! To read about past winners and find other best practices for your agency to consider, visit our Best Practices Clearinghouse page.

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