10 Best Food Delivery Services for the Elderly (Including FREE Ones!)
According to a study by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, 1 in 7 seniors in the USA is threatened by hunger. Furthermore, close to 3.7 million seniors are malnourished. These figures are certainly alarming, but the situation is not hopeless.
With the emergence of food services for the elderly, several of which are free or subsidized, it is just a matter of time before these stats should become a thing of the past.
But why do more and more people opt for the ready-made meals instead of shopping and preparing the lunches and dinners for themselves?
Well, food services for the elderly come with numerous benefits. These include:
Fresh, tasty meal options
The main benefit of hiring a food delivery service is that all meals come fresh and hot. For far-away deliveries, the meal might be frozen to preserve its freshness, and it only requires re-heating for less than 5 minutes before eating. In addition, the caregiver or your loved one will have the option to choose from an amazing variety of menu items.
Meal delivery services for seniors ensure that the ordered menu items meet all the nutritional values as required by the client. Food services offer special customized programs to prepare meals that suit the nutritional needs of every client. This reduces the risk of your loved one suffering from malnutrition and other related complications.
Having your elderly loved ones cook or prepare meals for themselves can be extremely dangerous. Seniors tend to become forgetful as they grow older and this might become a safety hazard if they are allowed to cook on their own. With this in mind, hiring a food delivery service seems to be the only viable option.
Preparing meals requires a lot of time. For this reason, allowing your elderly loved ones to cook on their own is not a good idea. Ordering ready-made meals not only saves time but also ensures that your aging parents receive hearty, nutritional meals on a regular basis.
Caters for special diets
Some diseases and illnesses that mostly affect seniors require special diets. Fortunately, most food services allow for customized orders to meet the specific needs of your loved ones. Some services also hire nutritionists and dietitians to handle special diets as required by their clients.
Sometimes it can be extremely lonely as a senior living alone. This can be depressing especially if you have no one to talk to or even share a meal with. Fortunately, a few meal delivery companies such as Meals On Wheels offer free social visits to their clients upon request.
When it comes to the health and wellbeing of your loved ones, money should never be an issue. Thankfully, most food delivery services for seniors are relatively affordable. Some offer huge discounts to seniors while others are completely free (if you qualify).
Here are 10 free and paid food delivery services that you should consider for yourself or senior loved ones:
Free or Subsidized Food Delivery Services for Seniors:
1. Meals On Wheels
Meals On Wheels is one of the largest and most popular food services providers in the US. The company focuses on delivering nutritious meals to the elderly for free or at a much lower price. They have partnered with over 5,000 major restaurants in different states to ensure that no senior is left to starve. In addition, all these local programs are tailored to meet the specific nutritional needs of all seniors in the community.
Interestingly, you may request for regular social visits from the company in case you or your parent needs someone to talk to or help around in the house. These visitations may come in handy, especially if you are far away from your family.
Notably, Meals On Wheels relies on donations from the public and funding from Congress to facilitate their operations. Furthermore, most of the delivery persons are volunteers who have undergone stringent training and background checks to ensure that meals are delivered right on time.
Even though Meals On Wheels services are free, you are encouraged to pay for deliveries if you can afford it. The contribution you make can go a long way to ensure that no senior is left hungry.
2. Lifelong and Project Angel Heart
Lifelong and Project Angel Heart is a free food delivery service that provides nutritious meals for people with serious, life-threatening diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, cardiovascular problems, and lung disease.
All meals from Lifelong and Project Angel Heart are medically tailored to suit the needs of every patient depending on the type of illness they are trying to tackle. The service focuses on serving residents of Denver and Colorado Springs, but plans are underway to expand to other locations once they receive sufficient financial support to run their programs.
Notably, this food service entirely depends on donations from individuals, non-profit organizations, charities, and local agencies to deliver food to both young and older patients in selected cities and towns in the USA. The program serves children from as young as 5 years old, to older patients in their twilight years. However, nearly of the clients are seniors aged 60 years or above.
In addition, the delivery persons are volunteers who have undergone rigorous training and stringent background checks to improve their skills and ascertain their competence. Amazingly, over 8,000 volunteers donate about 65,000 hours of their time to ensure that no deserving person is left to starve.
To qualify for this program, you must be living with an existing diagnosis of a life-threatening illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, lung/liver/heart/kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others. Additionally, the client must document difficulty in preparing or accessing healthy meals due to the side effects of the disease. Age does not matter, neither does your income.
3. Moms Meals
Moms Meals is a food delivery service committed to providing quality dishes to seniors. They are widely regarded as a Medicaid food provider as they always strive to prepare nutritious meals that meet the highest standards as set by the government and relevant healthcare agencies. These meals are important for seniors with chronic diseases, those that are recuperating after a hospital stay or struggling to take care of themselves.
Importantly, all meals from Moms Meals are chef-prepared to ensure that they not only taste great but also meet the nutritional needs of our elderly loved ones. Moreover, clients have the option to choose between frozen dishes or fresh meals depending on their preferences. The food can then be reheated in a matter of minutes, for a hot, hearty meal. What is more amazing is that you can choose your food from a wide range of international cuisines, including American, Latin and Asian dishes.
The highlight of Moms Meals is that seniors get to choose from over 50 different meals ranging from breakfast to dinner. Furthermore, financial assistance is available, meaning that seniors can enjoy food deliveries for free or at little cost. To qualify for these impeccable food services, you must over 65 years and be a member of Medicaid or Medicare. Disabled seniors may also apply for consideration.
Other Food Delivery Services for Seniors
4. Home Bistro
Home Bistro is another meals delivery service that seniors can use, with locations throughout the USA. The company is popular for its highly nutritious, delicious chef-prepared meals that they deliver right to your doorstep.
However, unlike other food delivery services that provide ready-to-eat meals, Home Bistro only supplies frozen meals. The company also offers well-labeled, detailed instructions for defrosting food, making it easier for your loved one to prepare their meals.
The Home Bistro is popular for its ability to offer a wide range of gourmets, meal combos, and special meals to meet specific dietary needs. The meals are classified into different profiles, including vegetarian, diabetic-friendly, heart healthy, healthy gourmet, low carb, gluten free and so many more. Moreover, the food is slow cooked to ensure that it becomes tender without losing its rich flavor or any other essential nutrients.
The only major concern about Home Bistro is that the delivery of meals takes between 1 and 3 business days. This means that you have to order your meals well in advance to avoid any disappointments. The cheapest meal costs about $10.
5. Magic Kitchen
Magic Kitchen is the perfect choice for homemade dishes. This food delivery service company strives to prepare meals that can accommodate everyone’s individual tastes and nutritional needs. The company has employed professional nutritionists and dietitians to ensure that food for seniors is prepared to high standards to meet the individual needs of the elderly.
Whether you need a special diet or a quick homemade snack, you can always rely on Magic Kitchen to deliver your meal right on time.
Notably, Magic Kitchen has two main menus, including Menu-A La Carte and Complete Meals. The A La Carte menu consists of soups, bread, main courses, side dishes, desserts, special diets, and meal bundles.
The Complete Meals menu consists of a wider range of meals, including senior special diets, vegetarian meals, diabetic-friendly dishes, renal diet, and dialysis-friendly dishes among many others.
Amazingly, you can filter these meals to suit your health needs. For instance, you may order gluten-free, dairy-free or low-fat meals under both the A La Carte and Complete Meals menu.
Pricing of individual meals ranges from as low as $10 per serving. The best part is that seniors get a major discount of 10% for first-time orders and a promotional $10 off discount on orders $80 and above.
GrubHub is a restaurant-to-home food delivery service for anyone looking for restaurant quality meals to enjoy at home. This service works in partnership with over 80,000 different restaurants located in over 1,700 cities in the USA to deliver all types of meals within the stipulated time frame.
You can only make an order online via the GrubHub mobile app or visit their official website. What is more amazing is that you can order your meals from any of your favorite restaurants without having to make a long term commitment to buy from that establishment.
The only obstacle is that GrubHub does not offer special diets for the elderly. In essence, the company just facilitates the delivery of your meals. You are therefore required to identify a participating restaurant that prepares healthy dishes before contracting GrubHub to make the delivery. Service fee ranges from $2 to $8 depending on your location.
7. Personal Chef To Go
Personal Chef To Go is a unique food delivery service that focuses on providing lunch and dinner to seniors with cardiovascular health problems. The service prepares healthy meals that comply with the American Heart Association’s guidelines to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases and improve the health and general wellbeing of your loved one.
The good thing is that Personal Chef To Go allows you to select your favorite dishes even if you do not specifically have heart health problems. Moreover, the company enlists exceptionally competent chefs and dietitians with vast experience in nutrition to prepare all types of meals, including ethnic flavors.
Amazingly, all the meals are fresh, fully prepared and ready to eat. All you have to do is heat the delivered food in your microwave for less than 3 minutes. Interestingly, Personal Chef To Go offers weekly and bi-weekly orders and plans start at $78.
Furthermore, the service guarantees that all meals stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 12 days. This means that you can pick up to 10 different meals to serve you for a week or more without worrying about the food going bad.
Good news if you are in New York or New Jersey- Personal Chef To Go offers free shipping to states on the east coast where the company is based. Other areas enjoy low-cost shipping depending on the destination address.
8. Top Chef Meals
Top Chef Meals is another food delivery service that comes closest to providing homemade meals for seniors. Their meals are not only delicious but also of high nutritional value. Furthermore, the company provides a wide range of options as far as meal schedules are concerned, starting from breakfast all the way to dinner.
As the name implies, the company employs top chefs with vast experience in preparing all types of international cuisines and local delicacies. Moreover, all foodstuffs are sourced locally. This helps to promote the home market and to ensure that your loved ones enjoy eating delicacies they are already used to. In addition, all meals are high in protein but low in carbs as recommended by many nutritional experts.
What is certainly amazing is that clients have the option of choosing customized meals from 70 entrees, with up to 20 choices as far as side dishes are concerned. Food is often packed in dry ice in plastic trays and insulating foam liners to preserve their freshness for up to 3 days. All you have to do is to re-heat your food for 3 minutes and enjoy your meal.
In terms of pricing, Top Chef Meals does not offer free food delivery services. That notwithstanding, meal plans are relatively affordable, as they start from as low as $8.65 per pack.
In addition, seniors over 60 years of age get a 15% discount on all orders. Shipping is via FedEx to cities and towns within the USA, and they only charge from as low as $9.95 per box. Nevertheless, orders above 21 meals or worth $110 or more enjoy free shipping
Medifast is one of the few food providers for seniors that focus on delivering both prepared meals and smoothies & juices. At first, the company started out as an establishment committed to weight loss and healthy nutrition products.
However, Medifast has experienced considerable growth over the years to include food delivery services to the elderly, in their long list of offers. You might not know this but Medifast now has over 5 subsidiaries dedicated to providing healthy diet plans to suit your nutritional needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Meal and recipe options offered by Medifast are tailored to tackle all kinds of needs and medical conditions. The most popular meal plans include gluten-free meals, low carb dishes, diabetes-friendly plans, vegetarian, low-fat dishes, weight loss diets and meals for seniors.
The most interesting aspect about Medifast is that it runs medically approved programs. With this in mind, this food service is perhaps the best place to order meals for your sickly elderly loved ones. The only problem is that some of the items on the menu might seem to be relatively expensive.
Nevertheless, despite the expensive plans, Medifast meals are worth every dime. Moreover, they have a money-back guarantee that you can use to claim a refund in case you are not happy with the services offered.
10. Healthy Chef Creations
Healthy Chef Creations is a food delivery service that offers freshly made meals from scratch to suit your personal nutritional needs. The company came to prominence thanks to the amazing effort of Chef John Procacci, who is renowned for keen attention to details and high hygienic standards. Nevertheless, the company has since been sold to new owners who are trying to keep the high standards set by the previous chef-owner.
The service offers excellent variety as far as meals for seniors are concerned. You may order organic meals or special diets to suit your particular health needs. Essentially, Healthy Chef Creations allows for customized programs for everyone. Furthermore, their menus are updated weekly to keep up with the demands for the latest cuisines, specifically made to your taste. The best part is that they deliver the meals fresh anywhere within the USA.
In terms of pricing, Healthy Chef Creations is relatively more expensive than other food delivery services. You may have to part with up to $50 for a day’s meal. However, single meals such as breakfast or lunch may cost you between $11 and $16, depending on the items ordered.
The only downside is that Healthy Chef Creations do not provide nutritional values for their dishes. This might be a problem for seniors who are on a strict calorie intake guideline. Furthermore, meal deliveries are only made on Fridays, meaning that you have to make an order for the entire week to avoid any disappointments.
How to Choose the Right Food Delivery Service?
If you are suffering from a medical condition and require a specific diet, not any food delivery will do. Find the service provider that has flexible delivery options that are overseen by a doctor or a dietitian.
Some seniors may require special diets due to food allergies, specific deficiencies, or religious reasons. Fortunately, most meal services allow for customized orders to suit your dietary needs whether it may be gluten or dairy free, kosher or halal meals.
Even though some of the food delivery options are free for those who qualify, you may not be among those and need to choose the service that fits your budget. Price is often a signal for the quality you can expect but not always. If you are on a tight budget you may need to shop around more until you find the service that you think offers the best price-quality ratio.