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GRADD’s Frozen Meals for Homebound Seniors program receives Aging Achievement Award

Green River Area Development District (GRADD) has received a 2020 Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) for the Frozen Meals for Homebound Seniors program.

This program is a collaborative effort between GRADD, the Senior Community Center of Owensboro Daviess County (SCCODC) and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. Two to three frozen meals are delivered to more than 75 homebound seniors in addition to their Monday-Friday home-delivered meals.

The awards program is supported by Centene. The Frozen Meal Program was among 44 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a Virtual Conference & Tradeshow on Sept. 22.

The 2020 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes n4a’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging program members that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.

“n4a is thrilled to present the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards to a diverse and remarkable group of Area Agencies on Aging. We salute all those who have enhanced the prestige of this awards program by sharing their innovative initiatives with their peers in the Aging Network,” said Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer of n4a. “Meeting the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers has been at the heart of what the nation’s network of AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs have done for nearly 50 years—and is more critical now, in light of the impact COVID-19 is having on the communities these agencies serve.

“These vital programs focus on social engagement, caregiving or healthy aging, and we commend them all. We know our members will continue creating great programs like the ones highlighted in this year’s 2020 Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, as the aging of the population demands our best and most innovative solutions,” Markwood said.

The frozen meal program is possible through a partnership between GRADD, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, and the Owensboro-Daviess County Senior Community Center. While seniors in the home-delivered meal program receive a hot weekday, lunchtime meal, the frozen meals serve as additional security for vulnerable seniors who might otherwise miss a weeknight or weekend meal. In addition to helping vulnerable seniors, the program reduces food waste for the hospital cafeteria provider, Morrison Health. Over 10,000 frozen meals have been delivered to vulnerable seniors at an estimated value of over $75,000.

Jennifer Williams, Director for Aging & Social Services states, “This partnership addresses the critical need of food insecurity among older adults. Good nutrition is especially vital to the overall health and wellbeing of older adults. Meeting this basic need allows vulnerable seniors to focus their limited resources on other needs, such as medication and utilities.”

The 2020 n4a Aging Achievement Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories including Advocacy, Agency Operations, Caregiving, Community Planning & Livable Communities, Diversity & Cultural Competency, Economic Security, Elder Abuse Prevention, Health-LTSS Integration, Healthy Aging, Housing, Nutrition, Social Engagement and Transportation & Mobility.

All winners are showcased in the n4a 2020 AIA Awards Book.

From Green River Area Development District

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