Condition of Iowa’s Congregate Meal Program

The purpose of this report is to provide a snapshot of the Congregate Meal Program in Iowa and to explore possible causes for the program’s decline in recent years. According to the Administration on Community Living (ACL) Aging Integrated Database (AGID) data, Iowa has the third-largest decline in congregate meal counts between 2010-2016 in the nation, despite a rise in the number of adults age 60+.

In an attempt to identify possible causes for the decline, the Iowa Department on Aging reviewed the Congregate Meal Program through the following methods:
1. Holding Congregate Meal Revitalization Conversations in each of Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) Planning and Service Areas (PSA) to gather grassroots input from the individuals involved in the program;

2. Conducting national research of other States Congregate Meal Programs searching for their requirements and standards; and

3. Reviewing other states best practices and innovative successes for possible replication.

This report provides the results of the conversations around Iowa, an overview of national research and innovative successes, and additional information to consider in revitalizing the Iowa Congregate Meal Program.