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Nutrition and Meals

Meal Menus/News | Cancellation Hotline

Eating well is an important part of remaining healthy and independent. When it becomes difficult to prepare a meal, older people need a helping hand. SCES offers the following nutrition services:

Brown Bag Program - BROWN BAG IS MOVING! (pdf)
Community Cafés
Farmers Market Coupons

Nutrition Education and Counseling
Nutrition Supplements


Brown Bag Program

The Brown Bag Program is sponsored by the Greater Boston Food Bank and Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES). Participants pick up a brown bag consisting of 10-15 pounds of nutritious groceries once per month (one bag per household). The items represent a balance and variety of foods from the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. A typical bag might contain milk, cheese, pasta, rice, ground beef, tuna, green beans, peanut butter, and oatmeal based on availability.


Person must:

  • Live in Somerville or Cambridge
  • Be 60 years or older OR under age 60, disabled, and living in a housing facility occupied primarily by the elderly
  • Meet program income guidelines OR be a recipient of one or more of the following types of assistance: Food Stamps, Medicaid, SSI, Fuel Assistance, Veterans Aid


  1. Print, complete, and sign the Brown Bag Participant Application (pdf)
  2. Fax (617-628-1085) or Mail (SCES, Attn: Nutrition Department, 61 Medford Street, Somerville, MA 02143-3429) the application to us with a copy of your ID
  3. Once the application is received by SCES, a Brown Bag Card will be mailed to you (this card is required to receive a Brown Bag)

Brown Bag Pick Up:

When: Every second Tuesday of the month between 10:30 am & 12:00 pm
Location: Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville

Consecutive non-attendance may result in removal from the program.
SCES does not deliver or provide transportation for this program.
Inclement Weather Policy

All registered participants:

  • receive one bag per household
  • must have their Brown Bag Card in order to receive a Brown Bag
  • must be able to carry a fairly heavy bag of groceries, or may bring a helper or a cart with wheels
  • may send a friend or family member with the participant's Brown Bag Card if they are unable to pick up the bag

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Community Cafés

Most Community Cafés are located in senior centers and senior/disabled housing in Cambridge and Somerville. Participants must register to receive meals. For more information click here.

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Farmers Market Coupons

Each year SCES requests Farmers Market coupons (through a grant) from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. The number of coupons received by SCES depends upon funding available. SCES generally receives the coupons in July and distributes them to various senior housing, senior centers, and meal sites, and delivers fresh produce to a percentage of Home Delivered Meals clients.

Click here for a Cambridge and Somerville Markets list.

Eligibility Requirements

Person must:

  • Be 60 years or older OR under age 60, disabled, and living in elderly housing
  • Meet low income guidelines
  • Live in Somerville or Cambridge
  • Provide proper I.D. with proof of residency & date of birth
  • Be present to sign for coupons, or submit a Proxy Form (pdf) with a copy of recipient’s ID
  • Add name to waiting list if coupons run out

Only one package of coupons per person each year, while supplies last.

For More Information

Call our Nutrition Department at 617-628-2601.

Click on the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets' link:

Click on the United States Department of Agriculture's link:

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Our drivers deliver hot nutritious mid-day meals Monday through Saturday, cold bag suppers for the evening, and frozen meals for weekend use. Special dietary needs can be accommodated with a doctor's written authorization. To find out more information about receiving Home Delivered Meals, call our Aging Information department at 617-628-2601, 3151.

Eligibility: People age 60 or older and their spouses or Disabled people under age 60 who live in housing facilities occupied primarily by the elderly if they: Have physical, emotional, or cognitive impairments; Have inadequate kitchen facilities to prepare nutritional meals; Are unable to attend Community Cafés; Have no one to help with meal preparation; And, must be home to receive the meal. If eligible, a donation of $1.50 per meal is suggested.

Ineligible people may pay privately - $5.50 per meal, $5.75 for special diets.

EBT (food stamp) cards may be used for all payments/donations.

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Nutrition Education and Counseling

SCES offers nutrition education by a registered dietitian at senior centers or other community settings. In addition, nutrition program clients can receive individual nutritional counseling sessions in their own homes. If interested in finding out more, go to our Health & Wellness page.

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Nutrition Supplements

For those who cannot obtain all of their needed calories through food, SCES offers Ensure supplement drinks at a low cost. Payments can be made by cash, check, or EBT (food stamp) card. To order Ensure Supplement drinks, call SCES at 617-628-2601.


  • Pick them up at our office (61 Medford Street, 2nd Floor, Somerville)
  • SCES clients can request to have them delivered for free
  • Non SCES clients pay $2.50 for delivery

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