More On the Menu (MOM) program is a privately funded supplemental fruit and vegetable program for San Diego County’s seniors who receive home delivered meals. The nutrition program provides seniors in need of additional nourishment with fresh vegetables and fruits along with their home delivered meals. The seniors get 7-10 fresh fruits and vegetables that they can incorporate into their diet for the week. They get instructions on how to prepare items such as microwaved sweet potatoes or applesauce.
Wendy Shigenaga is a Registered Dietician (RD) with MOM. Wendy’s role is to maintain the integrity of the MOM program by ensuring that only the “freshest and the best” fruits and vegetables are provided. MOM does not cut up fruit because of food safety and food storage guidelines, but they do come up with ideas on how to use the produce that the seniors are incorporating each week.
Shigenaga finds her work with MOM very rewarding, especially when she is out on the home delivery route and gets to meet seniors and hear them say they the loved the extra fruits and vegetables.
“They say things like, ‘I made salsa out of what I got,’ and hearing them take the initiative to use what they received in a different way is the best,” says Shigenaga.
Salvation Army, Fallbrook Senior Center, Oceanside Senior Citizens Nutrition, Carlsbad Senior Center, and Serving Seniors add MOM to their meal delivery programs, helping covering all districts throughout the San Diego region. More than 250 people are currently receiving fresh fruits and vegetables from the MOM program.
MOM exemplifies the Live Well San Diego initiative by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to seniors who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise. MOM deals with the food security issue by making sure homebound seniors take confidence in consistently receiving fresh fruit and vegetables daily and hot home delivered meals to meet their nutritional needs.