San Francisco Adapts Meals Programs to Needs of Ethnic Elders

Over the next four decades, Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) seniors will have the largest relative population growth among all elders. And ethnic elders experience disproportionately higher poverty rates, according to the Diverse Elders Coalition. San Francisco, in particular, has seen its older AAPI population jump to 40 percent of the city’s seniors in 2008, up from 27 percent in 1990. Today more than 60,000 AAPI seniors live in San Francisco, and a third of those live below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. The program, called CHAMPSS (Choosing Healthy Appetizing Meal Plan Solutions for Seniors), is a step towards giving seniors more flexibility and choice beyond the two usual ways to get low-cost meals: congregate meals at senior centers or home-delivered meals. Both are limited in terms of menu variety (there’s usually only one meal option per day) and meal time (diners must eat at set times for congregate meals). CHAMPSS and other meals program for seniors are subsidized by the federal Older Americans Act. With CHAMPSS, seniors “can just go to a restaurant any time they want and enjoy gathering and having fun with friends. That opens up the social life of the seniors.” Self-Help’s program serves some 60 to 100 Chinese meals a day (suggested donation: $2.50) at each of 11 senior centers around the Bay Area. It’s one of a number of providers that the city’s Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) has contracted with to serve solely cuisine targeting different ethnic populations, among them Centro Latino de San Francisco (serving Mexican and Central American meals), Kimochi in Japantown and Russian American Community Services.

Source/more: New America Media

David Wingate is an Elder Law Attorney with the Elder Law Office of David Wingate. The Elder Law Office works in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice consists of Powers of Attorneys, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and Asset Protection.

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