Rural Resources Diner's Choice Program
- Need: Many older adults are lacking proper nutrition, due to an inability to prepare food, lack of financial resources, depression due to social isolation, or general frailty associated with aging.
- Intervention: The Diner's Choice meal program provides 12 coupons each month to older adults for local restaurants in three rural counties in Washington.
- Results: Older adults in Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties receive much-needed nutrition and social interaction, leading to healthier lives.
In order to meet nutrition and social interaction needs
of older adults in rural Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens
counties in Washington, the Tri-County Senior Nutrition
Program implemented the Diner's Choice program for people
60 or older.
This program provides up to 12 Diner's Choice coupons per
month, and each is worth one meal at a participating
restaurant. Because the meals are provided on a
pay-what-you-can-afford basis, no older adult goes hungry
due to inability to pay.
In 2019, there were 13 participating restaurants in the
three counties. These restaurants have multiple menu
options available for older adults, with each meal
meeting at least one-third of the recommended daily
nutritional needs. Older adults can meet up with loved
ones and enjoy a meal at one of these restaurants.
Funding for the Diner's Choice program comes from federal
funds, participant contributions, grants, and
- Coupons that allow people 60 or older to eat at
participating restaurants in the tri-county area
- Much-needed socialization when people leave their
homes and interact with others during their mealtime at
- Access to other meal program options, including
In 2019, 12,265 meals were provided through the Diner's
Choice program to approximately 699 older adults. In
addition, 15,995 frozen meals supplemented the Diner's
Choice program for those seniors needing additional meal
Barriers for implementing a program like Diner's Choice
are gaining participation from area restaurants and
securing enough funding to provide meals to all older
adults who would benefit from them.
While there are currently no manuals or toolkits
available, program manager Anita Sailor welcomes any
calls from organizations looking to implement a similar
Aging and aging-related services
Food security and nutrition
June 26, 2007
Date updated or reviewed
September 3, 2021
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Rural Resources Diner's Choice Program [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 29 November 2023]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.