Senior Meal Delivery Services
We often see food delivery services as a luxury or an indulgence. But for a lot of people, food delivery is their lifeline. Many individuals live with chronic illnesses or disabilities that interfere with their daily activities, including the ability to cook for themselves. They may present symptoms like nausea, fatigue, fever, vertigo, pain, etc. All of which, make it harder to live a regular life.
Sure, boiling some pasta and heating up a jar of sauce is easy. It sounds easy. You can even say that it'll only take 15 minutes. Even if that's true, 15 minutes is a long time for some people.
Here's where senior food delivery comes to the rescue. If no one is there to help with food prep, food delivery is your solution to nourishment. With a few clicks on your smartphone or computer, you can get healthy food delivered right to your doorstep. There are even a few choices. Here are some different elderly food delivery options:
The restaurant-to-home is the classic system of food delivery for seniors. Basically, the restaurant sends food to the waiting customer. To get the most of this, you should be familiar with the restaurant already. You'll need to develop a relationship with the establishment, their staff, and know their menu.
There are lots of centralized meal delivery services for seniors that work with restaurants as well. Their services make it possible for you to order something repeatedly without ever seeing the establishment or speaking with their staff.
- GrubHub currently serves 1,600 U.S. cities and partners with over 80,000 restaurants. The company has person-to-person customer service online and by phone. The app allows you to search by cuisine, restaurant name or menu item, and the more you use it, the more likely your recommendations will match your preferences. Delivery fees average $2 to $8.
- Seamless operates as part of Grubhub and features over 7,000 restaurants in 6,000 U.S. cities. The app allows you to search for food by a variety of cuisines types, including ethnic cuisines, food items themselves (subs, soups, bagels) also has options including breakfast, dessert, 24 hour restaurants and healthy choices.
- Caviar partners with local restaurants in 21 cities, including nine locations up and down California. The delivery service is also available in Boston, MA, Brooklyn & Queens, NY, Chicago, IL, Dallas and Fort Worth TX, Philadelphia, PA, Portland, OR and Seattle, WA and Washington DC Metro. Each order includes a service fee of 18% and a delivery fee in the range of $2 to $9.
- Postmates serves 250 cities and some cities offer delivery of alcohol and groceries in addition to restaurant meals. Postmates promises fast delivery times from its more than 500 employees and 100,000 contract couriers. For customers who order often, an unlimited plan that works similar to Amazon Prime is available; for a monthly service fee of $9.99, all orders of at least $25 are delivered free of any additional charges.
- Uber Eats operates as part of the Uber ride-sharing app and delivers food from thousands of restaurants in over 130 American cities. Uber charges a booking fee, and for orders in “busy areas” there may be an additional fee. The app gives you the ability to track your order, so you can see where your delivery person is at all times.
- Amazon Restaurants currently operates from coast to coast in 20 major cities. The restaurant delivery service is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members who are charged an additional, varying fee per delivery. Amazon Restaurants has partnered with Olo, a restaurant ordering software company, to deliver food from 400 different restaurant brands.
- Eat24 is part of the Grubhub family of delivery services and serves thousands of cities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
- DoorDash delivers from over 100,000 restaurants in North America and serves hundreds of cities across the United States with the most delivery options available in California. The app also has many delivery options available around the Seattle and Minneapolis areas, as well as locations in other major cities.
The Homemade Feel Meal
For seniors who still enjoy cooking at home but are unable to make it to the grocery store for fresh ingredients, three types of delivery services are available. Grocery services pick up selected items from your list and deliver the items to the door in a matter of hours. Subscription-based meal-kit services deliver step-by-step directions and all of the necessary measured ingredients to create homemade meals. Other delivery services offer fully-cooked meals ready to eat in minutes.
- Home Chef offers a rotating menu of 11 new recipes each week with choices such as steak, chicken, pork, fish and vegetarian dishes. The meals cost $9.99 per week and smoothie and fruit baskets are also available for delivery at $4.95 each. The service posts weekly menu choices five weeks in advance of delivery dates.
- HelloFresh offers meal plans priced per serving. Chefs and dietitians create 15 new recipes each week and you can select two to four delivered meals per week. In addition to the standard $9.99 per serving plan, vegetarian and family plans are available.
- BlueApron offers gourmet two-person and family plan meals created from chefs using fresh ingredients. Delivered meal plans vary in price and start at around $8.99 per serving. Blue Apron also offers a wine delivery service that costs $10 per bottle (intended to serve 2 people) for around $65 per month.
- Instacart provides same-day delivery of grocery orders in over 40 states. Instacart delivers from major grocery chains, pharmacies and pet supply stores. The app also offers exclusive coupons on select grocery items. The app charges a flat-rate $5.99 delivery fee and a 10% service fee, although the delivery fee is waived for a yearly subscription of $149.
- Plated delivers the ingredients from chef-prepared recipes from a menu of 20 recipes a week at a cost of $9.99 to $11.99 per serving. The app allows you to order two to four servings and from two to seven days a week, while also giving the option to skip weeks and cancel at any time.
- Green Chef delivers certified organic meals in a menu that includes special dietary considerations, such as vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, keto, and gluten-free. Prices range from about $10 to $15 per serving, depending on the diet selected. Most of the meals can be prepared in approximately 30 minutes.
- Purple Carrot offers a menu of plant-based meals and also has a “performance” meal plan for dishes that are gluten-free and high in protein. The meals are delivered in sustainable packing three times a week at a cost of $12 to $13 per plate.
- BistroMD delivers chef-prepared weight-loss meals that are ready to eat in 5 minutes. The service offers a choice of different plans for men and women that include breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered five days or seven days each week. Diabetic, gluten-free and menopause meals are available on the 150-dish menu.
Free Food Delivery Services
This convenience has made it easier for a lot of people. However, it can come with a price. It can be considered a health cost though. In the end, it enables you to accomplish more.
Unfortunately, these costs are adding to the burden of those who are already struggling financially. Those who are disabled depend only on their SSI (Supplemental Security Income) will especially find it difficult to do with a budget of no more than $733/ month. The good news is, there are organizations that work to help those in need.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)– A program that aims to provide aid to the elderly or disabled. Unfortunately, for now they are only available in some areas to homeless, elderly and disabled people.
- Meals On Wheels America– Provides healthy meals either for free or at a lower price. You can also get regular social visits from the delivery person if you choose.
- Lifelong & Project Angel Heart– They provide free meals for people with “more” serious and life-threatening illnesses like HIV/AIDS, for example.
Is There a Senior Meal Delivery Service Near Me?
Senior meal delivery services are available throughout the United States. While some restaurant-to-home and shopping services are only available in major cities, many meal-kit services deliver to anywhere in the country. To find out if a senior meal delivery service is available near you, enter your zip code at the company's website or app page.