Availability and Frequency of Services

CNS providers must serve hot or other appropriate meals at least once a day, five or more days per week. CNS meals may be hot or cold. HDNS providers must provide five or more home-delivered meals per week. Home-delivered meals may be hot, cold, frozen, dried, or shelf-stable with a satisfactory storage life. If a provider operates both CNS and HDNS, the five days per week frequency requirements must be met for congregate and home-delivered meals independently, e.g., if the provider delivers 7 meals to home-delivered participants, congregate meals must still be served on 5 or more days per week.

Exceptions to the frequency of service may be made for CNS:

  1. in a rural area or where such frequency is not feasible, and a lesser frequency is approved by the AAA;
  2. in the case of a provider serving an ethnic community, where such frequency is not feasible, and there are other congregate nutrition sites in the area open on the days the ethnic provider is closed.

When funding permits, service providers should consider, where feasible and appropriate, serving two or more meals per day, seven days a week, and providing meals on holidays.

Written program objectives related to the number and frequency of meals to be served by the provider and the service level of nutrition education and, if provided, nutrition outreach, must be developed by or for the service provider. These objectives must be specific, verifiable, and achievable.

There should be written procedures to be followed by the service provider in the event of weather-related or other emergencies, disasters, or situations which may interrupt congregate meal service, home deliveries, or the transportation of participants to the nutrition site.

In no way may a nutrition program operated by specific groups, such as churches, social organizations, senior centers or senior housing developments restrict participation in the program to their own membership or other­wise show discriminating preference for such membership.