Supporting Homebound Older Adults with Meal Delivery

Looking for ways to support homebound older adults during the COVID-19 crisis? The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Section 5310 program provides an opportunity for AAAs that are experiencing growing demand for home-delivered meals and other services to use vehicles funded through the program to support older adults who are homebound due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The FTA encourages organizations with vehicles funded under the FTA Section 5310 Program (“Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities”) to maximize the use of those vehicles as long as they are “used first for program-related needs” and permits 5310 vehicles to be used for meal delivery.
Section 5310 providers may include public transit, AAAs and other human services agencies, nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Should you have any questions about this, please contact the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, which n4a co-administers in partnership with Easterseals, at 866-983-3222 or
Relevant sections of FTA Circular 9070.1G Section VI
5. VEHICLE USE. FTA encourages maximum use of vehicles funded under the Section 5310 program. Consistent with the requirements of 49 CFR parts 18 and 19, vehicles are to be used first for program-related needs for which a Section 5310 grant is made and then to meet other federal programs or project needs, providing these uses do not interfere with the project activities originally funded. If the vehicle is no longer needed for the original program or project, the vehicle may be used in other activities currently or previously supported by a federal agency. 
Vehicles may be used:
d. For Meal Delivery. Transit service providers receiving assistance under this section may coordinate and assist in providing meal delivery services for homebound people on a regular basis if the meal delivery services do not conflict with the provision of transit services or result in a reduction of service to transit passengers. The number and size of vehicles applied for under Section 5310 must be determined only by the number of passengers to be transported, not meal delivery capacity. Section 5310 funds may not be used to purchase special vehicles to be used solely for meal delivery or to purchase specialized equipment such as racks or heating or refrigeration units related to meal delivery.



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!