As the last of the “baby boomers” near retirement, communities across the country are preparing for an increase of older adults who will likely use aging and adult services programs.

As the last of the “baby boomers” near retirement, communities across the country are preparing for an increase of older adults who will likely use aging and adult services programs. In our area, Prairie Five Community Action is poised to proactively meet those needs head on.

One of the biggest challenges facing today’s older adults is eating healthy, and for over 40 years, Prairie Five’s has been preparing and serving healthy meals in Big Stone, Chippewa, Yellow Medi­cine, Lac qui Parle, and Swift counties.

The program has been a great success, but as our rural population ages, the need for services is expected to increase in the coming years.

“We’re really excited about the new P5 Meals and where it’s going,” said Erick Hedman, Director of P5 Meals Program. “Last year we made some changes to the program, and this year is kind of a year of rebuilding. It’s about being innovative and taking a look into the future.”

Access to healthy meals is an area of concern for many older adults. To address that concern, Prairie Five has come up with some innovative ways to provide meals to their clients. The organization recently purchased a hot/cold truck which will allow them to expand their home-delivered meal services to rural and remote homes in their service area.

This is especially important for those who no longer drive, or who may live some distance away from a Prairie Five congregate meal site.

“We’re looking at serving more people and taking a different approach to food service and services in our area,” Hedman said. “We want to see the number of people utilizing our services increase.”

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