Key Takeaways

NISC Programs of Excellence 

  • Year Awarded: 2021 (see all 2021 Programs of Excellence Winners)
  • Programs of Excellence Name: Nutritional Distribution Outreach
  • Hosting Organization: Cheshire Senior Center, Cheshire, Connecticut
  • Cheshire Population: 29,000
  • 60+ Population: 7,300
  • Senior Center Members: 2,700

About Nutritional Distribution Outreach

This comprehensive nutritional outreach program designed to meet the needs of all older adults within the Cheshire community relied on partnerships with several other agencies, including New Opportunities, Brass City Harvest, Whitney Rehabilitation Care Center, New England Young at Heart, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and the Cheshire Community Food Pantry. 

Combined, the programs provided over 2,400 opportunities for older Cheshire residents to access food: 515 food deliveries and Cheshire Community Food Pantry rides, 675 Grab and Go lunches, 379 produce bags, 600 Dash and Dine Meals, and 288 rides to the grocery stores. Senior center staff also distributed Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers and assisted with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications. Additionally, Cheshire is a municipality that financially supports the Meals on Wheels program. 

Key takeaways from Nutritional Distribution Outreach

  • Food insecurity is a significant issue for older adults.
  • A collaborative effort across organizations is needed to effectively address food insecurity.
  • In addition to the nutritional outreach, this program provided older adults with the opportunity to connect and socialize, especially during the pandemic. 
  • The various ways that food insecurity has been addressed by this program helped the senior center reach the largest group of people possible. Using different marketing techniques for different facets of the program was extremely effective. 
  • The senior center has become a focal point for older adults within the communmity for a number of services and resources, which helped the center recognize gaps in services and create programming to help fill those gaps.

About the Cheshire Senior Center

The Cheshire Senior Center offers a variety of opportunities for adults 55 and older for education, recreation, socialization and volunteering. Programs include social services, a nutrition program, transportation support, and more.