A growing need for services has become a crucial issue facing the Kentucky Aging and Independent Living Network and its senior nutrition program. This is a direct result of the increase in the senior population with little to no change in program funding. TheNetwork, consisting of the 15 Kentucky Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living (AAAIL’s),is constantly exploringnew opportunities to address the nutritional needs of Kentucky’s older adults.
One of those opportunities was recently made available, thanks to a community service partnership grant from Humana of Kentucky. Humana’s grant allowed available funds to be used to provide emergency shelf-stable meals to seniors who are currently receiving home-delivered meals through the AAAIL’s senior nutrition program. These individuals are home-bound and considered to be some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Humana and the AAAIL’s are committed to making a difference. Our goal is to combat hunger and food insecurity by understanding circumstances causing senior hunger and to implement solutions, including partnerships, to address the nutritional needs of Kentucky’s senior population.
“We know there are seniors who can’t always get out or have food delivered, particularly now,” said Caraline Coats, Vice President of Humana’s Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy. “Having meals on the shelf will eliminate one of their concerns during this time.”
Humana awarded a total of $48,500 to the fifteen Kentucky AAAIL’s in partnership with the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living and the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts. Through this community service partnership, Humana and the Kentucky AAAILs were able to provide 9,827 emergency meals to 2,582 of our home-bound clients. These are shelf-stable or frozen meals that can be used when meal delivery is not possible due to inclement weather such as snow or ice storms, flooding or tornados. With Humana’s support each client was able to receive up to five meals to be used during these emergencies.
Jennifer Williams, Director of the Green River Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living said, “The Network’s home-delivered meals program plays an important role in helping older adults remain healthy. These services prove to be helpful, keeping our seniors in their own homes with the goal of improving their overall health status.”
“Even though, at the time of meal delivery, we didn’t know the COVID-19 virus was heading our way, it has proven to be a tremendous help to our clients who now have those meals on hand,” Ms. Williams said. “We and our clients are very thankful for Humana’s support.”
Kentucky’s AAAILs provide an array of in-home and community-based services and support to seniors, persons with disabilities and their caregivers, in addition to community long-term support services for individuals of all ages. For more information about services in your community, contact the Green River AAAIL at 1-800-928-9094.