Nutrition & Services for Seniors, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity established in 1983, was organized by a group of citizens concerned for the welfare of the homebound in their community. For 35 years Nutrition & Services for Seniors has provided vital life-sustaining services to seniors and disabled adults in Jefferson and Hardin counties. With a network of over 200 volunteers, corporate sponsors such as Valero, ExxonMobil, Entergy and many others, we bring food and friendship to a population that is often overlooked, neglected and simply forgotten.
Nutrition & Services for Seniors is very unique in our approach to addressing the needs of the senior and disabled adult community. The majority of the Meals on Wheels providers across Texas' primary function are only one service - the home delivered meal. In contrast, by focusing on a "whole life enhancement" philosophy, Nutrition & Services for Seniors is proud to provide other vital services such as transportation, personal safety devices, nutritional supplements, groceries for the hungry, fresh garden fruits and vegetables and AniMeals (free pet food for the seniors companions). Transportation provides a vital link to health care, shopping, household necessities and social contact. The personal safety device, CareNet, provides seniors and their families with peace of mind that their loved ones will be safe when unforeseen incidents and/or accidents occur.
All services provided by Nutrition & Services for Seniors are aimed at increasing independence and reducing isolation. For some of those receiving meals delivered to their homes, this may be the only nourishment or human contact they receive each day. Quite possibly, this meal and social interaction is the highlight of their day. Our Meals on Wheels program was founded on the very principle that the oldest and frailest among us should not live out their final days in poverty and despair. We believe it's our responsibility, as a community, to make sure our homebound citizens are cared for after they can no longer care for themselves.
Our target population consists of persons with the greatest economic or social needs, and particularly low-income minority elderly and others who cannot afford to eat adequately or who lack the knowledge, skills, mobility, or motivation to obtain and/or prepare adequate food. Without our assistance many of our homebound neighbors would find themselves removed from their homes and placed in nursing facilities long before they should be. So many of the older seniors we serve have lived through the Depression and rationing during the wars, and because of that they are the segment of population most unlikely to seek out help when they are hungry.
They grew up during the worst economy our nation has ever faced. They worked hard to survive and rose to the challenges of life with strength and dignity.
Our services are NOT based on income, anyone 60 years or older or someone married to someone 60 years and older is eligible. There are no charges for our services however; seniors are given the opportunity to contribute. This is a suggested contribution and NO ONE is denied service if they are unable to contribute.
Congregate Meals: We operate 17 dining sites throughout Jefferson and Hardin Counties where seniors 60 years and older can gather to share fellowship and common interests over a meal.
Home Delivered Meals: To qualify for a home delivered meal a person must be 60 years or older or disabled adult. They must be homebound by reason of illness, incapacitating disability, or frailty. Other criteria include they are unable to prepare meals due to limited mobility, psychological or mental impairment and are without resources such as family or friends to provide them with meals. All meals served must meet 1/3 of the required daily allowances (RDA) for older adults and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Drivers report daily to our Homebound Coordinator any changes they observe concerning the seniors they serve. Our staff makes home visits regularly to check on the status of the seniors receiving meals and makes additional referrals as needed.
Transportation: People call in every day with a variety of transportation needs, some of which are life sustaining, such as daily trips to dialysis. Without this service these people would quietly die or fade into isolation. Most rides are provided for a suggested contribution of $1.50 each way. Some rides in Hardin County are based on zones and the cost is usually nominal.
Mid-County- Transportation is provided for 60 and over and to handicapped persons regardless of age. A person may be transported to most any place they need to go.
Hardin County- In Hardin County we transport persons of any age. In addition to offering rides to the usual places we transport some workers to and from jobs in Beaumont.
Emergency Response Unit: A speakerphone installed in the homes of frail elderly and anyone living alone that will automatically call a 24-hour response center when activated. Each client wears a lightweight pendant. If the client falls, becomes suddenly ill or even hears a strange noise while at home, pressing the button will activate the system to alert the proper authorities.
Ensure: Food supplement. Available to anyone 60 years and older. Orders are taken for ENSURE before the 25th of the month and available for pick-up on the 5th of each month.
Empty Pantry: Clients are offered the additional benefit of bags of groceries delivered to their door by their meals on wheels driver. The grocery bags are made up of items acquired from the Southeast Texas Food Bank. These items are purchased with grant funds and used to assist clients with shelf stable items on an as needed basis.
AniMeals: The program offers pet food at no charge for the pets of the seniors who receive our homebound meals and cannot afford to purchase pet food. Some of our seniors were sharing their meal with their animals; therefore, AniMeals enable seniors to receive their complete hot noon meal while providing their companions with their own nutritionally appropriate food. Approximately 66 seniors participate in the program. Pet food is delivered every two weeks by their meals on wheels driver.
Breakfast : Approximately weekly, homebound clients of the Meals on Wheels program are treated to a Friday breakfast. When grant funds are available, a breakfast of fresh fruit, juice, muffin, crackers or other shelf-stable items are delivered to the client's home along with their noon meal.
Grow to Share Garden: Located by our property on Concord, the garden allows us to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to our clients. Raised beds are sponsored by community donations and grants. Over 445 home bound clients have enjoyed such nutritious items as: broccoli, greens, lettuce, cabbage and strawberries.
Nutrition & Services for Seniors is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing innovative, effective programs that assist older adults in leading quality lives while maintaining dignity and independence.