Federal Pandemic Relief Money Helps Expand Meal Deliveries for Seniors in Dallas County

With help from Dallas County's $511 million pool of American Rescue Plan money, the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas is changing tactics to adapt to needs of homebound seniors

Rebecca Slezak/The Dallas Morning News

Since 1973, the Visiting Nurse Association of Texas has delivered meals for homebound seniors across Dallas County. Today, it gives out nearly 4,500 warm meals a day, Monday through Friday. The nonprofit also prepares lunch at over two dozen senior centers from Far North Dallas to DeSoto.

But like so much during the COVID-19 pandemic, dining behaviors have changed dramatically since March 2020. The nonprofit reports that demand for meals at senior centers grew by 200% during the pandemic.

With help from the county's $511 million pool of American Rescue Plan money, the VNA is changing tactics to adapt.

The Dallas County Commissioners Court this month allocated $1.8 million to the organization to expand its meals on wheels program and hire three community health workers to go door-to-door to talk to seniors about the services they provide.

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