Landmark federal legislation was established in 1965 to address the well-being of all our older citizens. The momentum carried to Central Florida when a group of individuals formed the Orange County Citizens Advisory Council on Aging in 1966 as an advocacy and information & referral organization. The Orange County Citizens Advisory Council on Aging is the ancestor program of Seniors First.
In 1973, the Meals on Wheels program began in Orange County as a fledgling volunteer program of the Christian Service Center which operated in church kitchens. At the same time, the Orange County Public School System began the Neighborhood Lunch program for seniors. Both of these nutrition programs were funded, in part, through the Older Americans Act of 1965.
In 1989, Meals on Wheels and Neighborhood Lunch programs were consolidated with the Orange County Citizens Advisory Council on Aging. These events laid the foundation for the organization that would later undergo a name change to Seniors First, Inc. in 1993.
In 2009, Community Care for the Elderly/VNA, a state funded program, was merged into Seniors First, adding in-home supportive services for Orange and Seminole counties. Today, Seniors First is the largest social services organization in metro Orlando helping senior citizens through a combination of public and private funding.
Evolution of Programs and Services:
1966 Information & Referral Service
1972 Guardianship for Senior Citizens
1973 Meals on Wheels and Neighborhood Lunch
1982 Community Care for the Elderly
1992 Stepping Stone Medical Equipment Bank ancestor program
1993 Agency name change to Seniors First, Inc.
2004 Emergency Meals on Wheels
2009 Seniors First merges with Community Care for the Elderly/VNA
2016 50th anniversary