Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Interested Individuals

I have a case manager already. How do I get home delivery from GA Foods?
Simply contact your case manager and request home-delivered meals from GA Foods.

There are often multiple meal providers from which to choose. That decision is yours and, in an attempt to be fair to providers, case managers are typically not allowed to recommend a specific provider or provide “too much” information. Some case management offices interpret the requirement as providing almost NO information…often leaving individuals in the dark. Others provide informational flyers or other materials and may go so far as to suggest one provider’s business model may fit better than others. Regardless, each home delivered meal provider approved by the program is available for all participants.

If you have forgotten your case manager’s name and/or phone number,
call 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov and search for the agency serving your area. Someone there will be able to reconnect you with your case manager.

Are all the meals you deliver frozen?
GA Foods delivers both frozen and shelf-stable SunMeadow® brand meals to home-delivered customers.

While we do provide hot meals to congregate sites and offer nutritionally-balanced shelf-stable pantry meals (requiring no cooking), GA Foods is committed to providing the safest, most nutritious meals possible. Frozen meals allow our chefs to cook meals using ingredients at the peak of their nutrition content and then lock that nutrition and taste in using a special flash freeze process that ensures food safety and great taste.

To learn more about the benefits of frozen meals, see our blog post Fresh vs. Frozen Home Delivered Meals.  

How can I get meals delivered to my parents?
Currently, GA Foods only provides meals funded by charitable organizations and government programs.  At this time, we do not sell our service directly to individuals. If you would like for us to keep you informed about possible private pay options, please complete this quick form.

Your parents might be eligible for home-delivered meals through an agency.

To identify the agency that can determine eligibility and arrange service,
call 1-800-677-1116 or visit
www.eldercare.gov.

On the eldercare.gov site, interested individuals can search for services by a location based on zip code or city and state.  We recommend searching based on zip code, particularly in large metropolitan areas who may be served by multiple agencies.  Locate agencies listed in the search results that have “Nutrition Programs” or “Home Delivered Meals” in their description.  Contact those agencies directly and request home-delivered meals service from GA Foods.

Where can I find allergen information about your meals?
Allergen information can be found on the Meals Specification Sheet for each meal.

What is the cost of your meals?
GA Foods provides meals funded by charitable organizations and government programs.  At this time, we do not sell our service directly to individuals. If you would like for us to keep you informed about possible private pay options, please complete this quick form.

You might be eligible for home-delivered meals through an agency.

To identify the agency that can determine eligibility and arrange service,
call 1-800-677-1116 or visit 
www.eldercare.gov.

On the eldercare.gov site, interested individuals can search for services by a location based on zip code or city and state.  We recommend searching based on zip code, particularly in large metropolitan areas who may be served by multiple agencies.  Locate agencies listed in the search results that have “Nutrition Programs” or “Home Delivered Meals” in their description.  Contact those agencies directly and request home-delivered meals service from GA Foods.

What are the criteria for receiving meals from GA Foods?
GA Foods provides home-delivered meals through various agencies, including those commonly referred to as Meals On Wheels programs. Program participation criteria vary from state-to-state and, sometimes, between different case management offices based on their funding requirements and plan design.

To identify the agency that can determine your eligibility,
call 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov.

On the eldercare.gov site, interested individuals can search for services by a location based on zip code or city and state. We recommend searching based on zip code, particularly in large metropolitan areas who may be served by multiple agencies. Locate agencies listed in the search results that have “Nutrition Programs” or “Home Delivered Meals” in their description. Contact those agencies directly and request home-delivered meals service from GA Foods.

What locations does GA Foods serve?
Home-Delivered Meals
GA Foods provides home-delivered meals in over 25 states. Field service representatives trained in food safety and eldercare issues deliver our meals in specially designed freezer trucks.

Other than in very special cases, we do not ship heavy boxes of food in ice packs using common carriers like UPS, FedEx or the USPS. Find out why here: GA Foods Delivery Compared to Other Providers

Bulk Frozen Meals and Multi-Day Total Meals System Variety Packages
Bulk Frozen Meals and TMS variety packs can be delivered anywhere in the continental United States.

Shelf Stable Meals
Shelf stable meals and meal kits can be delivered almost anywhere in the world. The U.S. Military deploys globally with SunMeadow® brand shelf-stable meal kits.

Hot Daily-Delivered Food for Senior Nutrition Programs
Hot food for both senior and child nutrition programs can be delivered within a specified radius of one of our seven facilities located in:
• Alabaster, AL
• Center Hill, FL
• Covington, GA
• Daytona, FL
• Dothan, AL
• Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• Ft. Myers, FL
• Guntersville, AL
• Montgomery, AL
• Orlando, FL
• Orville, AL
• St. Louis, MO
• St. Petersburg, FL
• Satsuma, AL
• Trinity, AL

Charter and Private Schools
Meals and snacks specially designed for schools and child nutrition programs can be delivered within a specified radius of one of our seven facilities located in:
• Center Hill, FL
• Daytona, FL
• Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• Ft. Myers, FL
• Orlando, FL
• St. Petersburg, FL

What languages does your Member Care Center support?
English, Spanish, Creole, French, German. Laos, Thai, and Japanese in-house with a language translation service that can help with many additional languages 

Case Managers

I need information on how to get a client started in this program.
Our customer care team will be happy to help you. Please call 1-866-575-2772. 
What is Level 2 background screening?
Level 1 generally refers to a state-only name-based check and an employment history check.

Level 2 generally refers to a state and national fingerprint-based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses and applies to those employees designated by law as holding positions of responsibility or trust.

What languages does your Member Care Center support?
English, Spanish, Creole, French, German. Laos, Thai, and Japanese in-house with a language translation service that can help with many additional languages 

Dietary and Nutrition

Are SunMeadow® meals DRI compliant?
Yes. Each SunMeadow®-brand frozen and the shelf-stable meal is designed to provide 1/3rd of the Daily Reference Intake (DRI) when served with the accompaniments also provided by GA Foods. 

Are SunMeadow® meals ok for patients with diabetes?
Yes. Each SunMeadow®-brand frozen meal is designed with balanced carbohydrates, proteins and fats to prevent an insulin-inducing spike in blood sugar. 

I have high blood pressure. Are your meals ok?
All of our meals are low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. 

Are SunMeadow® meals ok for people with heart disease?
All of our meals are low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. 

Does GA Foods offer renal meals?
Renal diets are prescriptions for specific amounts of protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. At this time, we are unable to provide individualized meals for prescribed renal diets.  We do, however, have a variety of meals that would be appropriate for patients on dialysis.  Contact us for more information.

Do you have meals for vegetarians?
Yes, we do. Most are lacto-ovo vegetarian, meaning they contain milk and eggs.
See our frozen vegetarian meals here: https://www.sunmeadow.com/what-we-offer/senior/frozen/meatless/

Where can I find nutritional information for SunMeadow® meals?
A Frozen Meal Nutrition Guide (visually designed for non-nutritionists) and product specification sheets for all frozen meals contain detailed nutritional information for all of our meals in one easy document.

Nutritional information for each frozen meal and multi-day Total Meal System packs can be found by following the link to the individual product and clicking the appropriate button.

Nutrition information for senior nutrition shelf stable meals can be found by clicking the “Nutritionals” link found at the bottom of each option available in our multi-day packs. Quick links to those sections follow:
7-Day Pantry Meals
5-Day Panty Meals
2-Day Pantry Meals

Nutrition information for military meal kits can also be downloaded by clicking the “Nutritionals” link found in each of the following sections:
Shelf stable meal kits
Thaw and serve sandwich kits
Bulk sandwiches and fruit cups

Where can I find allergen information about your meals?
Allergen information can be found on the Meals Specification Sheet for each meal.
Do you have Registered Dietitians (RDs) on staff?
Yes. 
Do you provide special menus for children who have allergies and other food sensitivities?
Yes, as long as we have a letter from their pediatrician stating the specific food allergy. 

Product Information

What is the difference in SunMeadow® Dairy Beverage and milk?
  • Specially Formulated– SunMeadow® Dairy Beverage is formulated to be a nutrient-enhanced and fortified dairy drink designed to be stored frozen for extended shelf life and thawed in a refrigerator for consumption at the convenience of the consumer.
  • Advanced Temperature Controls/Optimal Freshness– SunMeadow® Dairy Beverage is rapidly frozen immediately after manufacturing and packaging and is handled and stored frozen at all times throughout assembly, distribution and delivery to the consumer’s home to ensure optimal quality, safety, and freshness.
  • Storage & Thawing Recommendations/Best Practices– SunMeadow® Dairy Beverage can be stored safely in the freezer for up to one year. Thawing should be achieved in the refrigerator (41 degrees F. or below) to ensure proper temperature controls are maintained at all times to ensure the freshness and highest quality of the product. Under proper refrigeration, the product has a best used by recommendation of 10 days after thawing and can be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within those 10 days without concerns of spoilage or souring*.

*Note: Upon thawing, the protein solids within the beverage may separate creating, at times, some small white colored specks that may not fully reconstitute back into the fluid part of the beverage. This is usually remedied by additional thawing time to complete the thawing process to ensure that ice crystals are not present in combination with a thorough and vigorous shaking of the carton to blend the beverage more thoroughly. Please note that this is not an indication of spoilage and is a common condition amongst nutrient-enhanced beverages and thaw & serve fluid dairy products.

Where can I find allergen information about your meals?
Allergen information can be found on the Meals Specification Sheet for each meal.
Is latex used in preparing SunMeadow® meals?
While no latex is present in the packaging itself, we do use latex gloves in preparation, cooking, and packing of meals.

How can I tell when SunMeadow® shelf stable meals expire?
There is an embossed or printed code on the package that indicates the day of production.

In general, a SunMeadow® meal kit has a shelf life of nine months, although we also manufacture special meal kits that have a three-year shelf life. Individual components of a meal kit vary widely.  Nonfat dry milk, for example, is recommended to be best used within 18 months while SunMeadow® Beef Stew has a “best used by shelf life” of three years, but product safety guidelines assign a usable shelf life of 5 years.

The production date code can be discerned from the example as follows:

Example Code: T50012
T = the packaging plant identification
5 = the last digit of the year produced (2015, in this example)
001 = the Julian code for the day of production.  A Julian code is the day of the year.  1=January 1 and 365=December 31.
2 = the production shift (not always included in the code)

 

So in this example, the product was produced on the first day of 2015 (Jan 1, 2015).

 

Understanding “best used by” and product safety dates can be confusing.  If you are uncertain, please complete the contact form or email Dr. Frank Curto, Director of Quality Assurance, Regulatory Compliance, and Product Development at FCurto@GAFoods.com with the code and product description or a picture of the product and code.
Are the trays in which the meals are packed BPA free?
Yes
Can your frozen meal trays really go directly in the oven?
Yes.  The trays we use are both microwavable and oven-safe.  Our frozen meal trays are custom-made MX Oven-Redi™ CPET Meal Trays by Mullinix Packages, Inc.  The trays can be microwaved, heated in a regular oven to 400°(F), and frozen to -40°(F).  This type of packaging is the most expensive and highest quality food packaging in the industry.
There is blood in my chicken! Is that safe?
Yes.

From Steve Pretanik, director of science and technology for the National Broiler Council:
Chickens which are sold as broiler/fryers typically are slaughtered between 6 to 8 weeks of age. Outwardly they appear fully mature, but their bones haven`t completely calcified. As a result, the bone mass is very porous. Deeply colored pigment from the bone marrow migrates to the surface and often is visible along the bone and the meat that is immediately attached to the bone.

Home freezing of fresh chickens exacerbates the problem. The marrow expands inside the bones as the chicken freezes and eventually pushes through to the surface. When chickens are frozen commercially, the freezing process is quicker and therefore cuts down on the likelihood of the marrow seeping through the bones.

The meat still is perfectly wholesome, Pretanik said, and the marrow is safe and even nutritious to eat. He noted, however, that the industry is addressing the problem, hoping to solve it through nutrition and genetics.

Following is a link to food safety information from the USDA, Chicken from Farm to Table: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/ad74bb8d-1dab-49c1-b05e-390a74ba7471/Chicken_from_Farm_to_Table.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Page 6 references pink meat and dark bones that may be causing concern.

Additionally, click here to read a letter from our supplier regarding blood in bone-in chicken.

We agree, however, that blood in cooked chicken can be off-putting.  We are redesigning our meals to reduce bone-in chicken to eliminate the concern with our customers.

Child Nutrition

What GA Foods locations serve child nutrition programs and schools?
Meals and snacks specially designed for schools and child nutrition programs can be delivered within a specified radius of one of our seven facilities located in
• Center Hill, FL
• Daytona, FL
• Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• Ft. Myers, FL
• Orlando, FL
• St. Petersburg, FL

Are your meals eligible for reimbursement through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program?
Yes, our meals comply with the nutrition standards required for USDA reimbursement. However, the school applies for reimbursement through their state agencies. To find your state agency, go to www.fns.usda.gov/office-type/child-nutrition-programs

Do your meals meet the requirements of the Child and Adult Care Food Program?
Yes. However, the center or sponsoring agent applies for reimbursement through their state agencies. To find your state agency, go to http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Contacts/StateDirectory.htm