MERCER COUNTY, NJ --  Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes recently reminded residents of the availability of healthy meals available through the Mercer County Senior Nutrition Program. Even during the ongoing pandemic, and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the program never stopped serving meals. 

Adults who are 60 years or older, their spouses, and adult children with disabilities who are living with them, may be eligible for the program. 

Hughes said that when "we all went into lockdown, the Senior Nutrition Program was quick to modify its operations to continue to provide meals from Monday to Friday to the most vulnerable population."

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"I applaud Nutrition Program staff, TRADE operators and everyone else involved in this effort, and I wish the program continued success. Although its mission states that it is a “congregate meal program,” participants are encouraged to remain at home and avoid crowded places," added Hughes. 

There are 10 “grab-and-go” sites throughout the County to allow participants to drive up and pick up prepackaged meals in a contactless exchange. Meals are also delivered to their homes by TRADE, which has shifted its focus during the pandemic to support the Nutrition Program. 

"The Senior nutrition program is based upon a federal program to support the needs of seniors in the community, it is a participant-driven program and seniors register either with the county office on aging, or through the senior center in their community," said Mercer County Human Services Director, Marygrace Billek. "While the meals are “grab and go,” they are scheduled each day so that we know who and how many to expect, and we must report each and every day who we expect and who picked up."

Since March 2020, the program has served more than 72,000 “grab-and-go” and home-delivered meals.

"We welcome any senior 60 years or older (not need based, and a donation is requested for the meal, usually $1.00) who is interested in participating in the program to register through their senior center,"said Billek who noted that "municipal centers may take donations, so you can reach out to the senior center in your area to check on their needs." 

For more information and to register, call (609) 989-6650.

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