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Have meals delivered by agency

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults age 65 and older, GETMEALS reports if the respondent has meals delivered to her/his home by an agency or organization. Please see the Universe and Comparability tabs for more information on changes in the universe of this variable across samples.

GETMEALS was first introduced part of a series of variables related to the need for assistance in certain daily functions. In later samples the question is asked as part of a series of questions about nutrition. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


There are changes in the universe for GETMEALS across samples. Prior to 1984, the question was asked of all persons who had received meals prepared outside of the home in the past 12 months. In 1984, it was asked of sample persons age 60 and older. Beginning in 1991, the universe is sample adults age 65 and older.

Prior to 1991, respondents were asked if they had received meal delivery service in the past 12 months. Beginning in 1991, the question is phrased to imply that only current meal deliveries are included. See the Survey Text tab to see the specific survey questions asked.

Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IHIS weights.


  • 1979-1980: Persons who received meals prepared outside the home and brought on a fairly regular basis during the past 12 months.
  • 1984: Sample persons age 60+.
  • 1991: Sample persons age 65+.
  • 1993: Half of sample persons age 65+ in quarters 3 and 4 (excluded from AIDS supplement).
  • 1995: Half of sample persons age 65+ (excluded from AIDS supplement).
  • 1998: Sample adults age 65+.


  • 1979-1980, 1984, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998