F-1110 Overview

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

Eligible people receive meals and an opportunity for socialization in a congregate setting. This section gives information about eligibility, frequency, serving more than one meal a day, political activity and religious activity.

F-1120 Eligibility

Revision 22-1; Effective March 1, 2022

To be eligible for a Title III congregate meal, a person must be:

  • 60 or over; or
  • the spouse of a person 60 and over who participates in the program.

The following may also receive a meal, if the provider offers meals on the same basis as meals served to people 60 and over:

  • a person who volunteers during the meal hours; or
  • a person with a disability who lives in housing facilities:
    • occupied primarily by people 60 and over; and
    • where they serve congregate meals.

The AAA must develop procedures to allow meal providers the option to offer congregate meals to a person who provides volunteer services during the meal hours. Offering a meal to a volunteer must be on the same basis as meals provided to an eligible person who is 60 or older.

Before service initiation and at least every 12 months, complete a DETERMINE Your Nutritional Health checklist for each person who receives congregate meals.

Note: There are no citizenship or residency requirements for OAA services. Do not deny nutrition services based on citizenship or residency criteria.

Documentation for Congregate Meals

Documentation of meals must include the name of the meal provider, date the meal was provided, and the name of the person receiving the meal.


Report data for recipients and meals using HHSC’s information management system. Reporting of meals requires unduplicated persons and unit counts.

A unit of service = one meal.

Related Policy

Nutritional Risk Assessment, D-1060

F-1130 Frequency of Service

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

A meal provider must serve five meals a week at a minimum unless HHSC approves a request to serve less. Providers must serve five meals a week to eligible people for a total of 250 meals a year. Meal providers must serve meals in a congregate setting and must conform to all standards and requirements for nutrition services in this handbook.

A congregate meal may be a hot or other suitable meal per day, and any added meals the provider chooses to serve at the congregate site.

Meal providers who serve rural areas may request HHSC permission to serve less than five congregate meals each week per person. For more guidance, please refer to section F-1580, Serving Fewer than Five Meals a Week.

A rural area is any area not considered urban. Urban areas are (1) a central place and its adjacent densely settled territories with a combined minimum population of 50,000; and (2) an incorporated place or a census designated place with 20,000 or more inhabitants.

Related Policy

Serving Fewer than Five Meals a Week, F-1580

F-1140 Second Meals served by a Congregate Meal Provider

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

The following meals are eligible meals counted and reported in the HHSC information management system as Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP) eligible if they meet all the conditions for NSIP eligibility:

  • Second Congregate Meal Provided at a Single Setting for Consumption at Another Time – A chilled, frozen, or shelf-stable meal sent home with an eligible person for a holiday, inclement weather or for an older person who is identified as “nutritionally high risk". Report and count the meal as a home delivered meal.
  • More than One Congregate Meal per Day – Congregate meal providers may serve more than one meal per day. Individual meals include the provision of breakfast, lunch or dinner consumed at separate settings during the same day.

The following meals are not eligible meals and not counted or reported in the HHSC information management system. They do not meet NSIP eligibility.  Not funded by HHSC, program income or matching funds, other funds must support these meals:  

  • Second Congregate Meal Served and Consumed at a Single Setting – A second meal served and consumed in a congregate setting is an “add-on” and constitutes the provision of a second Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) meal. This applies to any second meal served and consumed at a single setting.

F-1150 Political Activity

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

Congregate meal sites must not be used for political campaigning except in those instances where a representative from each political party running in the campaign is given an equal opportunity to take part or distribute political materials.

F-1160 Religious Activities and Prayer

Revision 21-0; Effective January 15, 2021

A congregate site or its staff must not sponsor, lead or organize religious activity and prayer.  Do not prohibit a person from praying silently or audibly at a congregate meal site if the person so chooses.