See the Resources list below to learn more about local congregate and home-delivered meal programs in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt counties.
- A full meal - that meets at least a third of daily nutrition needs - is served
- Meals are provided at a low cost donation, cheaper than restaurants
- Programs encourage participating in meals even if money is a concern, as no one is turned away for inability to pay. LINK cards (SNAP benefits) are often accepted
- Congregate sites often coordinate transportation to meals
- Programs make meals for a large number of people, and have to transport the foods. The quality may not always be like homemade foods. This is a chance to practice patience and understanding
- The foods served may not always be foods you enjoy or have eaten before. Try looking at this as an opportunity to try new foods
- Join in the social aspect of congregate meals by talking with other meal-goers. Asking about job history or volunteer experiences is a good conversation starter
Food Safety Tips
- Refrigerate home-delivered meals if not eating right away. Reheat foods to 165°F, usually when food appears to be simmering or boiling
- If taking home leftovers from a congregate meal, refrigerate within 2 hours from when the food was served. If the meal was served at 11:30am, leftovers need to go in the fridge by 1:30pm
- Eat leftovers within 3-4 days
For any readers wondering about program operations, volunteers are so important. Contact any of the sites to learn about volunteer opportunities.
Home and Congregate Meals serving Macon Co
- Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corporation (DMCOC), Senior Nutrition Program
- Decatur Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels
Home and Congregate Meals serving DeWitt and Piatt Co
- Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Peace Meal
Position of the American Dietetic Association, American Society for Nutrition, and Society for Nutrition Education: Food and Nutrition Programs for Community-Residing Older Adults, J Am Diet Assoc. 2010; 110: 463-472,
Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.