HSRC awarded $404,152 Federal grant to expand nutrition program

The Humboldt Senior Resource Center (HSRC) has been awarded a $404,152, three-year Innovations in Nutrition Program and Services grant from the Administration for Community Living, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The purpose of the grant is to reduce hunger, encourage social engagement, and promote health and wellbeing among older adults in Humboldt County.  “Our goal is for more seniors to come to lunch—particularly rural older adults  who are at risk of not getting enough nutritious food,” said Tasha Romo, HSRC’s Director of Nutrition & Activities.

The first funded innovation is to modernize the agency’s  three senior dining centers in Arcata, Eureka and Fortuna to make them more attractive to more older adults, with the Baby Boomer generation a focus.  The three centers,  now called “Heritage Cafés,” will offer café-style dining with table service, replacing the more old-fashioned cafeteria-style format.  HSRC plans to expand the menu to offer diners a wider choice of entrées and a salad bar.

“In the first year of this grant, we will begin implementing changes in Eureka, the second year in Arcata and McKinleyville, and the third in the Eel River Valley,” said Romo.  “And in each year, we plan to extend farther into the outlying, rural communities.”

The second funded innovation will be “Heritage Café Mobile,” a catering-style truck that will deliver meals once weekly to senior and community centers where lunch is not presently served.

“Hunger and social isolation are both serious threats to senior health,” said Melissa Hooven, HSRC Chief Executive Officer.  “This grant provides us the opportunity to build partnerships with other local agencies.  Together we can help more seniors be well-nourished and engaged.  We can help older adults be healthy and independent enough to age at home with dignity.”

In addition to the Heritage Cafés, the Humboldt Senior Resource Center’s Nutrition Program includes Meals on Wheels Redwood Coast, which delivers meals to homebound seniors, and weekly take-away meal distribution, which provides five prepared meals at a time.

For more information, contact Tasha Romo, Director of Nutrition & Activities, at 707-443-4797 ext. 1228.