North Dakota senior nutrition service providers have canceled dine-in meals effective March 19 to protect vulnerable individuals from the coronavirus.

Providers will be offering alternatives such as take out, home delivered and frozen meal options. They will continue to provide home-delivered meals to current consumers.

“Older adults are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19, however senior nutrition programs are an essential community service,” said the state’s Aging Services Division Director Nancy Nikolas Maier.

“Nutrition service providers are committed to providing healthy meals to older adults in a safe way during this health crisis, and we appreciate their partnership.”

The North Dakota Department of Human Services provides federal Older Americans Act funding and state funds to providers.

Last federal fiscal year, 14,465 older adults in North Dakota dined at senior meal sites, and 4,809 others received home-delivered meals. Each meal provides one third of the required daily nutrition recommended for older adults.

To qualify for meals, individuals must be at least 60 years old.

People should check with their local senior nutrition provider to find out what options are available in their local area. Information is online at http://www.ndseniorservices.org/.

For information about services for older adults and people with disabilities, contact the Aging and Disability Resource LINK of North Dakota toll-free at 1-855-462-5465, 711 (TTY)or email them at carechoice@nd.gov or view information online at www.carechoice.nd.gov.

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