Stimulus Dollars Provide Meals For More Seniors

The Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast’s helpline specialists are calling 1,825 seniors who are on the waiting list for home delivered meals in the agency’s five-county area and serving them as a result of the new stimulus funding. These funds are to support seniors age 60-plus and persons with a disability, ages 18 to 59.

The Area Agency on Aging is the local agency receiving stimulus funding from the Families First Act and CARES Act to serve homebound seniors. All clients who were previously receiving a meal at a senior center or adult day care center are now getting food through an alternate channel. With the COVID-19 emergency situation, more seniors than ever are homebound due to the shelter-in-place directive. As a result, the helpline is receiving more calls from seniors in need of food.

“Under normal circumstances, the Area Agency on Aging’s Helpline assists the vulnerable seniors get connected with services, including access to food,” said Dwight D. Chenette, CEO of the Area Agency on Aging. “During COVID-19 our agency is assuming a broader role with connecting seniors in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast with needed services.”

Helpline specialists are available to assist seniors with applications for food stamps (SNAP). The Department of Children & Families has expanded benefits under food stamps, and the helpline can assist with enrollment.

Seniors and adults with a disability should call the helpline at (866) 684-5885 for access to services such as food, electric bill assistance, help with Medicare and caregiver resources. As an outgrowth of the Older Americans Act, the helpline is, as always, the gateway to publicly funded services, Medicaid and long-term care needs.

The Area Agency on Aging is dedicated to promoting, supporting and advocating for the independence, dignity and wellbeing of seniors, adults with disabilities, veterans of all ages and those who care for them in a manner that values diversity, reflects the communities we serve and embraces the collaboration of the aging network. Learn more at