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Texas State developing app to help reduce food insecurity, isolation among the elderly

The university received a nearly $3 million grant to develop the app.

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Texas State University has received a $2.76 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help develop a food delivery application to serve elderly populations in Central Texas.

The app's goal is to fight social isolation and food insecurity while also improving overall health and wellness.

School of Health Administration professor Larry Fulton and his team will work to evaluate a "scalable, non-traditional, multi-platform, food delivery application called NUEVA (Nutrition for Underserved Elderly Via Application)."

"This application is intended to have a wide array of positive effects: improve food and nutrition security, reduce loneliness and enhance socialization and improve the health and mental health of elderly populations of low socioeconomic status," the university said in a press release. "Ideally, the application will also reduce food loss and waste in Central Texas."

Texas State said the app will create a three-way link among the underserved elderly population, charitable transportation and food providers that will develop and expand a network of community stakeholders, beneficiaries and donors.

NUEVA will also include video conferencing features that will support contactless socialization between the delivery workers and the elderly. Texas State said the optimized "just-in-time delivery model" is also designed to help significantly reduce food waste.

"This one-year grant has the potential to be renewed for up to five years of funding support," the press release states. "The NUEVA study is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), HHS as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2.76 million with 78% funded by ACL/HHS and 22% funded by non-government sources. The contents of the research are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. government."


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