Toolkit: Addressing Nutrition and Social Connection Needs of Rural Older Adults During the COVID-19 Emergency

Older adults living in rural areas are especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 public health emergency, even as their needs for nutrition and socialization services are rising. Rural residents face persistent challenges related to accessing long-term services and supports, healthcare, transportation, telecommunications, and other important resources. Older adults who are isolated from others, particularly those who live alone, or who live in frontier areas may be particularly at risk for limited social connectivity and in turn, dietary intake. Senior nutrition programs have and continue to demonstrate great creativity and determination in recent months to overcome these challenges to meet service needs of their communities. Attendees heard from three senior nutrition program professionals leading initiatives and organizations in varied rural, frontier and tribal communities, and their successes and lessons learned in meeting the nutrition and social connection needs of the older adults they serve during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In this webinar attendees:
• Understand the range of barriers to the provision of nutrition and socialization services offered to diverse older adults in varied rural communities;
• Identify opportunities leverage technology-light and technology-rich methods for providing inventive nutrition and socialization programming to seniors served by your organization


• Darin Zotigh, Executive Director, Kiowa Tribe AOA
• Tammy Rosa, Caregiver Program Manager/ Nutrition Program – Quality Assurance Specialist, Upper Peninsula Commission Area Progress
• Dennis Streets, Executive Director, Chatham Council on Aging

Downloads and Webinar Recording

Slide Deck for Part 1

Audio Recording for Part 1

Key Resources