CVCOA and Local Partners Expand Therapeutic Meals in Central Vermont
Barre, VT (November 14, 2023): Central Vermont Council on Aging (CVCOA) proudly announces a groundbreaking collaboration with community partners aimed at expanding therapeutic meal options for older adults in Central Vermont. Over the next year, CVCOA will enhance this program in several ways: through the creation of a comprehensive online recipe database, the development of an online learning platform for ongoing training, and testing and adaptation of new recipes through collaborating meal sites. This initiative is supported through a Capacity Building Grant from Vermont Foodbank and a Collaboration Grant from Meals on Wheels America.
Recognizing the growing need for high-quality and flexible meal options that are tailored to chronic conditions, CVCOA started a therapeutic meal initiative in 2022, which provided training on both the theory and practice of producing therapeutic home-delivered meals. Building on the success of this initial effort, CVCOA is now expanding its commitment to expanding therapeutic meal offerings by offering ongoing training opportunities to partner meal sites.
Leading this effort is Kimberly Lipinski, CVCOA’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness and a dedicated advocate for medically tailored and therapeutic meals for older adults from all walks of life. Lipinski was recently honored as a Rising Star Scholarship recipient from Meals on Wheels America, an acknowledgement of her leadership and potential as a transformative figure in the field.
Lipinski commented, “Through this initiative, CVCOA is building on efforts from across Vermont and the country to expand medically tailored and therapeutic meal access to older adults of all backgrounds. Older Vermonters facing food insecurity are more likely to be managing chronic conditions due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions as people age. By tailoring meals to an individual’s specific health conditions and dietary needs, CVCOA hopes to reduce food inequality and improve health outcomes in this region through nutrition.
CVCOA partners with 13 local meal sites and senior centers to provide over 200,000 home-delivered, congregate, and grab-and-go meals each year. This support is delivered through technical assistance, base funding, training, volunteer support, and program development. CVCOA's collaborative approach addresses community needs and enhances capacity through these vital partnerships.
CVCOA will be collaborating with two meal sites, Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County (MOWLC) and Meals on Wheels of Central Vermont (formerly City Hotel Café), to rigorously test recipes targeting specific health conditions and to obtain feedback from both the production team and meal recipients. Through this collaboration, CVCOA will refine the recipes, construct a user-friendly recipe database, and establish an online learning hub for ongoing and sustainable training on therapeutic meals.
Kimberly Lipinski noted, “We are excited to involve the community in our mission to preserve Vermont's culinary heritage and contribute to the Meals on Wheels programs. Over the next year, our focus will be on developing and modifying recipes to address hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease, among others. Recipes submitted to CVCOA will be meticulously adapted by a registered dietitian and tested by a professional chef, and then scaled for serving home-delivered meal recipients throughout Vermont. Select recipes will be featured in a new interactive online database that will be accessible to all meal programs in Vermont, and ultimately, to all Meals on Wheels programs across the nation.”
CVCOA needs your help preserving Vermont’s culinary treasures to share with home-delivered and congregate meal programs. To submit a recipe or learn more, please email [email protected] or call the CVCOA Barre office at 802-479-0531.
To learn more about CVCOA’s nutrition and wellness programs, including locations of meal programs, please visit https://cvcoa.org/nutrition-and-wellness.