The Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association (CNNSSA) was born out of a meal service program operated by the Community Economic & Development Association (CEDA) in the 1970’s
In the late 1990’s, federal funding for senior services began to diminish. The Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association became a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2000. In order to remain in full operation and be able to expand services to meet the growing need, the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois (MOWFNI) was created in 2001 as the fundraising, community outreach, and public awareness arm of Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association.
In 2005, Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association was awarded contracts to begin serving seniors in Grundy and Kendall Counties in addition to suburban Cook County. Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association is now one of the largest senior meal providers in the nation. Throughout these three counties, where service is provided, there are 9 Group-Dining sites, and 9 meal distribution hubs for the Home-Delivered Meal program.
Over 450,000 seniors in Illinois are threatened by hunger. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Kendall County had 18,037 residents aged 60+ in 2021, and of these, American Community Survey’s 2021 1-Year Estimates gauges that 5% are 100% below poverty level, 32.7% live alone, and 25% are person with disabilities. Our programs in Kendall County ensure that homebound and medically fragile seniors can get the nutrition they need: 57.09% of our clients in Kendall County live alone, 36.22% are low income, and 77.56% are categorized as frail. The same survey estimates that Cook County had 1,132,020 residents aged 60+ in 2021. Of these, 12.9% are estimated to be 100% below the poverty line, 44.1% live alone, and 27.4% are persons with disabilities. In Grundy County, it was estimated that 10,358 residents are aged 60+. Of these older adults, 5.7 % are estimated to be 100% below the poverty line, 41.1% live alone, and 22.4% are persons with disabilities. Lastly, American Community Survey’s 2021 1-year Estimates gauges that 139,458 residents in Will County are aged 60+. Of these residents, it is estimated that 6.7% are 100% below the poverty line, 35.6% live alone, and 24.5% are persons with disabilities.