Through a new federal grant that is part of the CARES Act, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is now able to provide older Minnesotans ages 60-plus two meals a day, seven days a week through its LSS meals service – up from one daily meal.

Since the start of the pandemic, Lutheran Social Service has experienced a dramatic increase in meals being requested. More than 120,000 meals have been served since mid-March, an increase of 30 percent over the same period last year.

The availability of additional meals comes at a time of increased demand when many older adults are facing more difficulties securing healthy nutrition.

“While social distancing measures are important for our safety and health, they also have an impact on older adults and nutrition,” explained Kristin Schurrer, senior director of LSS meals. “It’s a risk for them to go to the grocery store, and adult children or neighbors who might have helped them with shopping or cooking may not be leaving their homes, because of underlying health conditions.”

Lutheran Social Service provides home-delivered and curb side meals to Minnesotans age 60 or older in 39 counties in Minnesota.

Federal and community funding allows Lutheran Social Service to provide meals for a suggested donation of $5 per meal. No diner will be turned away because they can’t afford a meal.

Lutheran Social Service also offers Meals to Go, which ships healthy, affordable frozen meals anywhere in Minnesota.

Lutheran Social Service will continue offering meals for curb side pickup as well as home-delivered Meals on Wheels left at diners’ doors to limit contact.

To order meals or find a location near you, visit lssmn.org/meals.