Nutritional support scheme for elderly

The Social Justice Department has decided to provide food kits to the elderly as part of a nutritional support scheme.

Vayoposhanam will be piloted as part of the 2019-20 action plan of the Centrally-sponsored National Action Plan for Senior Citizens under which an amount of โ‚น1 crore has been allocated for all-round development of the elderly. The action plan sets aside โ‚น42 lakh for the nutritional support scheme.

As lack of balanced diet and good nutrition cause problems such as loss of muscle mass, bone density and other ailments in the elderly, the food kits are aimed at increasing immunity, especially that of financially backward elderly people, those living alone or having none to take care of them. It has been decided to provide one food kit for two months to the eligible elderly to maintain their health.

The State Nutrition Board has provided a list of nutrient-dense food items to be included in the kit. These items, such as rice, ragi, black gram, soya chunks, ground nuts, almonds, sesame balls, ghee, and coconut oil, will be made available from Supplyco and distributed through the departmentโ€™s district offices.

Recipes too

It is not just the food kits that will be provided. Recipes that can be made using the food supplied in the kit will also be given. A food kit for a beneficiary for two months will cost โ‚น1,639.

The programme will be piloted in the Sayamprabha Home that are run with the departmentโ€™s financial assistance in 12 districts. Nearly 2,500 elderly people who have registered with the Sayamprabha Home will be given the kit after beneficiary selection.

The selection will be done by the home monitoring committees. To be eligible, the elderly should belong to the below poverty line (BPL) category. Those living alone will be given priority in the distribution of kits.

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