Issue Brief: Envisioning a New Future for Congregate Meals

Challenges Brought to Light • Already-stretched budgets, decreases in funding even before COVID-19 • How to quickly set up new payment models to allow for private-pay options, then refine and sustain them • Securing funding after emergency- authorizations expire • Identifying new or non-traditional funders, and making a business case for funding • Replenishing special set-aside or rainy- day funds • Empirically showing value, return-on- investment • Sustaining increased demand and enrollments • Funding internet access, hardware, software, and technical assistance • Breaking down funding silos, paying for holistic service approaches • Funding data collection, analytic, and reporting systems • Attracting, establishing, and sustaining public-private partnerships

providers who may support this work. • Survey the constituent base (electronically and telephonically) to identify those who may be nutritionally insecure or hungry (and its impact on their overall health), but may not see themselves as needing food, and use that data to focus delivery on those in the greatest need. • Conduct outreach through partnerships with organizations (dedicated email blasts, leveraging social media, developing referral pathways) in food deserts and food insecurity hot spots to promote your organization’s emergency food programming and distribution. • Develop partnerships with non- traditional food delivery methods (food trucks, produce trucks, community- supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, school meal programs, etc.) to offer low- cost access to older adults. • Look for underused transportation assets, such as jurisdictional vehicles or school buses, that can be used to deliver meals. • Collaborate with employment offices to connect with people who may be recently or temporarily unemployed and could help with home-delivery. CHALLENGE: FUNDING Innovations and new partnerships have formed during the pandemic through mechanisms like flexible budgets, but may not be sustainable over time against increased demand.

Envisioning a New Future for Congregate Meals PAGE 5 | www.asaging.org

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