Partnerships with Foodbanks and Other United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Programs

Food security/insecurity is a basic social determinant of health. Access to safe, adequate, nutritious, quality food and fluid is essential for life, health, disease risk reduction, and management of chronic disease and conditions. Titles III and VI of the Older Americans Act (OAA) indicate that a primary purpose of the OAA Nutrition Program is to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

The OAA Nutrition Program administered by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is not alone in addressing the issue of food insecurity and older adults.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) funds programs that target vulnerable older adults as well. Although both ACL and FNS programs address hunger and food insecurity, understanding the similarities and differences between their programs may help the aging services networks and the food assistance networks work more collaboratively.

The purpose of this brief is to examine differences and similarities between OAA Nutrition Programs and USDA FNS programs, and address frequently asked questions that senior nutrition programs might have when working with USDA programs.