Korean J Community Nutr.  2003 Dec;8(6):919-926.

Analyzing the Current Congregate Meal Service Program for Homebound Elderly

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. story0924@yonsei.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Sangji University, Wonju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Tourism and Foodservice Industry, Donghae Uinversity, Donghae, Korea.


The purpose of this study is to examine the current congregate meal service program for homebound elderly. One hundred three meal service centers in charge of the congregate meal service programs as part of the elderly foodservice program were surveyed for administrative structure, menu management, food purchasing and production management, hygiene, equipment, and facilities. Statistical data analyses were completed using the SAS 8.1 program for descriptive analysis and ANOVA. The meal cost of 54.4% of the congregate meal service centers ranged from won1,500 to won1,999 per meal. According to the menu analysis, all nutrients except calcium and Vitamin B2 were at levels of more than 33% of the Recommended Dietary Allowances for Koreans. A total of 81.5% of the centers were operated without the services of a dietitian, and food purchasing, menu planning and other food-service management processes were handled by non-professionals, such as volunteers, cooks or social workers. Although 88.3% of the centers required a therapeutic diet menu for the health of the elderly, most directors (77.6%) replied that in their current status they could not afford to serve therapeutic diets. These results suggest that financial and systematic supports by government is very necessary. Fifty-five percent of the centers never used standard recipes. For determining portion sizes, 93.2% of the congregate meal service centers depended on the personal experience of the personnel. Finally, the current congregate meal services for the homebound elderly were not operated systematically. To improve the elderly food service program, it is strongly recommended that it be managed by professionals.


elderly foodservice program; congregate meal service; homebound elderly
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