What is Golden Diners ?
The Golden Diners program provides nutritious meals for those age 60 and over. The program offers not only the opportunity for seniors at risk of malnutrition to have a good meal, but it also encourages seniors to come out and enjoy lunch with their peers at our community dining sites located throughout Kane and McHenry Counties. Several sites have activities during the meal times that are conducted by the host sites. We want the seniors to have access to an appropriate meal, fun, and friendship.
Meals for Homebound seniors
Those who are unable to get out, or who are unable to shop or prepare meals on their own, can have meals brought to their homes. Delivery of the meal also provides a ‘well being’ check on the senior each day. Seniors need to be assessed by a Senior Services Associates, Inc. caseworker in order to be approved for home meal delivery
What Kinds Of Meals Are Served?
The Center serves hot, nutritious meals that meet one-third of the required daily allowance. Meals include a protein, starch, vegetable, fruit and milk. Most menus are low fat, low cholesterol and diabetic friendly.
What Is The Cost?
The actual meal currently costs $ 7.08. Clients are encouraged to make a voluntary donation according to their ability to pay. Anyone may enjoy the meals, whether or not they are able to contribute. No one is turned away.
The Hidden Problem Of Malnutrition
A problem that can easily go undetected among older adults is malnutrition. As people age, those living alone often find preparing meals difficult, and those with low incomes are apt to skip meals because purchasing food is costly. Here are the facts:
- Malnutrition occurs too frequently in seniors, even though it is preventable
- Poverty and isolation increase the risk of malnutrition in the elderly
- At least 80% of people older than 60 are living with one chronic illness, but 50% older than 60 are living with two chronic illnesses (CDC, 2003). Chronic disease can be improved with nutritional intervention
- Malnutrition significantly increases hospital stays and direct medical costs
- Malnutrition is a major factor in re-admission to hospitals
- Many seniors eat less than 3 meals a day
- Most seniors are taking multiple prescription medications which can restrict the kinds of food they can eat.
The program has grown from serving 225 meals a day in 1974, to more than 700 today, with about 4,000 seniors participating.
Currently there are 5 location sites in Kane and 6 in McHenry County. Click here for Golden Diner Locations
Today The Need Is Even Greater
As the elderly population grows, The Salvation Army is serving more meals than ever before. More than 4,000 older adults are currently participating in the program, and nearly 199,000 meals are being provided annually. Just as essential are the opportunities for building new friendships, socializing, educating and providing programs with a spiritual focus.
We depend on your continuing generosity to help fund this vital program, one you'll agree our older adults most certainly deserve.
Dining Center Help – Help serve meals and socialize with seniors during weekday lunch hour at sites throughout Kane and McHenry Counties.
Meal Delivery – Deliver hot meals to homebound seniors and take a few moments to make sure they are ok.
Meal Preparation and Packaging (Elgin Central Kitchen location)
Contact the volunteer coordinator at 630-232-6676 for more information on these volunteer opportunities.