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Nutrition Services

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Nutrition Services and Nutrition Counseling - 1The Department for Aging’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist oversees the nutrition services including: Nutrition Counseling, Nutrition Education, Congregate Meals and Home Delivered Meals. These programs help to maintain and improve the health of seniors in the county.

  • Nutrition Counseling  - Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist provides individualized nutrition assessment and counseling for seniors and their caregivers. To schedule an appointment, call: (518) 447-7183.
  • Nutrition Education - Monthly nutrition informational handouts are provided by our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to all meal recipients.
  • Congregate Dining - Hot nutritious meals* are provided at 16 sites around the county.  These are great places to socialize and nourish the body, mind and spirit to promote optimal well-being.
  • Home Delivered Meals – Balanced meals* are delivered to the homes of eligible frail seniors.

Nutrition Services and Nutrition Counseling - 2* Both meal programs are overseen by our NYS Certified, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to ensure the meals provide at least 1/3 of the recommended intake for older adults, and follow the most current Dietary Guideline. The meals provide whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and are moderate in carbohydrate, fat and sodium.

Participants are encouraged to contribute to the cost of the service.  The suggested contribution is $3 for a congregate dining or home delivered meal, and $10 for nutritional counseling.  No one will be denied due to an inability to contribute.

Determine Your Nutritional Health

Determine Your Nutritional HealthRead and answer the following statements to determine your nutritional health or the health of someone you love. For every ‘yes’ response, circle the number to the right of the statement. Total the circled numbers and check your score.

  • I have an illness or condition that made me change the kind and/or amount of food I eat: 2 points
  • I eat fewer than 2 meals per day: 3 points
  • I eat few fruits or vegetables or milk products: 2 points
  • I have 3 or more drinks of beer, liquor or wine almost every day: 2 points
  • I don't always have enough money to buy the food I need: 4 points
  • Tooth or mouth problems make it difficult to eat: 2 points
  • I eat alone most of the time: 1 point
  • I take 3+ different prescribed or over-the-counter drugs each day: 1 point
  • Without wanting to, I have lost or gained 10 pounds in the last 6 months: 2 points
  • I am not always physically able to shop, cook or feed myself: 2 points

Total all of the circled responses to determine your nutritional score. If it is:

  • 0-2: Good! Recheck your nutritional score in 6 months.
  • 3-5: You are at moderate risk, and should make some changes to improve your eating and/or lifestyle. Contact the Office for the Aging’s RD Nutritionist at (518) 447-7183 for some suggestions. Recheck your score in 3 months.
  • 6+: You are at high nutritional risk. Bring this checklist when you see your doctor, dietitian or other qualified health or social service professional. Talk with them about any problems you may have. Ask for help to improve your nutritional health.

Additional Resources

Find assistance through the My Benefits online tool that helps users access and apply for programs and services such as HEAP, SNAP, Temporary Assistance, Special tax credits, Medicaid, health insurance plans and more.

The Legal Aid Society’s Nutrition Outreach and Education Program can assist seniors 60+ determine eligibility for SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka Food Stamps) which can boost your monthly budget for purchasing groceries. The program can also assist with the application and the interview. Call (518)462-6765, ext. 327. 

A limited supply of Farmers’ Market Coupon Books ($20) are made available in the summer months (one time only) to local senior centers and groups. The coupons must be used at participating Farmers Markets. Call Albany County NY Connects for more information: (518) 447-7177.

The Food Pantries of the Capital District can help you find the food pantry that serves your address. Call Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at (518) 458-1167. In order to direct you to your area pantry you will need to give them your current address.

For emergency assistance call 211 a United Way program which can provide information and assistance for emergency food, housing, clothing, and other help.

The Food and Drug Administration’s website provides information on a variety of tops including losing weight, nutrition, drugs, over-the-counter medication, product safety and recalls.