Publication Date

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Nutrition, Senior citizens, Elderly


Santa Clara County conducts a Senior Nutrition Program (SNP) in conjunction with the City of San Jose, the Outreach Paratransit Program and local community-based organizations (CBOs) like Sourcewise (Lam, 2015). These programs combined represent a significant investment of public funds, with more than 45% of the SNP program’s funding coming from the county General Fund (Lam, 2015). Such a large financial commitment needs to demonstrate some benefit to the participants, and some positive outcomes from the current program design. This study evaluated the SNP’s effectiveness in achieving its primary goals. Primary goals of the SNP are to promote senior citizens’ health and delay adverse physical and mental conditions by providing healthy meals and socialization opportunities (Lam, 2015). The program aims to provide healthy nutrition and mental stimulation for elderly residents of Santa Clara County, with the desired program outcome of better physical and mental health, enabling the participants to live independently.

The focus of this study was broken into two main parts: measuring program outputs and outcomes. The study’s approach to the first part of the research questions consisted of using existing data, such as annual reports from the SNP and survey data provided by the county. The second part of the research questions used original data to analyze the program’s outcomes and impact.