June 6, 2022 | Monthly News & Updates
OCOA Health Clinic Earns NAFC Gold Rating
The Osceola Council on Aging earned a 2022 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) Quality Standards Program. By self-attesting that the organization has certain policies and procedures in place, it is able to highlight its commitment to providing quality care to patients.

The NAFC's mission is to ensure the medically underserved have access to affordable healthcare. The NAFC and its members are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive quality healthcare. To quantify and qualify the care provided at the Free and Charitable Clinic network, the NAFC formalized a set of Quality Standards for member organizations.

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Health Clinic
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: A Health Guide

Grandparents can easily become overwhelmed when they first take on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren full time. The situations can be emotional and stressful for everyone in the family. Legal and financial issues may increase that ...

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OCOA 50th Anniversary Gala
Join us to take a look at the past 50 years of our history, and glimpse into the future of what is still to come.

Only 5 premium tables are left, so hurry and get yours while they're still available!

CLICK HERE for more info & to RSVP
Hurricane Kit and Supply List
It's almost hurricane season! Start planning today for how you will prepare your home by going through the disaster supply kit checklist and making sure you have everything you need.

CLICK HERE to view checklist
Food Pantry Services Available in Kissimmee and St. Cloud
The Osceola Council on Aging Food Pantry provides food bags to seniors, disabled adults, and disadvantaged families. The OCOA began providing food assistance programs to the Osceola County community more than 50 years ago and has evolved to provide nutrition assistance to more than 20,000 needy households every year.

We've recently expanded our services by adding a new location in St. Cloud!
The Council utilizes locally donated foods and funded social service programs to provide more comprehensive food packages and services to meet increasing demands in the number of low-income households served in our community. The OCOA Food Pantry relies on community volunteers to assist by donating food through community or workplace food drives and monitory donations. We also work with local community partners to purchase crops for use in meal production and for food distribution to disadvantaged Osceola County residents.

Food Pantry Hours: Thursday from 9:30 - 11:30am

We are open for donations: Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
In accordance with Federal Law and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis or race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all program.) to file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 or 202-720-6382 (TTY) USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

What you sprinkle over your greens, as well as the amount can make or break a salad. Here, we give you the scoop on a few unexpected toppings that will boost the flavor and healthfulness of your salad. Using small amounts and different combinations of ingredients can help add variety to your salads.
Salads in Bloom

Your salad has greens, veggies, even fruits — so why not go further into the garden and add flowers too? Edible flowers, which include marigolds, violets, roses, nasturtiums, chive blossoms and pansies, can add color and flavor to your salad. Just be sure to use flowers that are labeled as edible, like the ones you can find in the produce section at the grocery store. Other blooms, which are sold at nurseries and florists may be toxic or grown with dangerous pesticides. Kitchen herb gardens also work well as a way to produce both flowers and plants for edible purposes.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Herbs, whether fresh or dried, are another way to add flavor to salads. Many supermarkets offer fresh herbs already packaged or as plants. Both fresh and dried herbs can be sprinkled on top as garnishes or used to make flavorful vinegars or salad dressings. Try experimenting with different combinations, but start out small. It’s also important to know that if a recipe calls for dried herbs, and you want to substitute fresh – one teaspoon of dried is equal to one tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of fresh snipped herbs. 

Going Green

Avocados not only taste great, but they are also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and potassium. They also provide a decent amount of dietary fiber, which most Americans don’t get enough of. Avocados are also very versatile. For example, they can be chopped up and added as a salad ingredient or pureed into a dressing. It’s best to prepare them right before serving, because once an avocado is sliced, it will start to discolor. A little squeeze of lemon or lime juice can also help prevent it from browning.

Texture You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Nuts and seeds not only add interesting flavors to foods, but the crunch they provide can be just what a salad needs sometimes. Sprinkle small amounts of nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or even pine nuts. They will provide unique flavors and textures when used as salad toppings.

Another ingredient that can really make a salad more satisfying are beans. There are so many varieties to experiment with, but more common types used in salads include black beans, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), and edamame. Cooked beans whether they are purchased frozen, dried, or canned are all good options and a convenient way to get a plant-based source of lean protein.

Croutons typically get a bad rap, but if you make your own and use whole grain breads they can help you meet your daily goal for dietary fiber. Another option is to serve a scoop of cooked whole grains, like quinoa or bulgur, over a mixture of salad greens. It's a great way to get the best of both food groups at one meal.

Looking for ways to get more calcium and vitamin D in your diet? A sprinkle of shredded cheese, such as mozzarella or Parmesan, or crumbled feta can add a lot of flavor with just a small amount. Plus, they are good sources of calcium. Eggs provide vitamin D and when hard boiled, make a great topping for salads.

A Touch of Sweetness

We all know that berries, apples, oranges and pears taste great on their own, but paired with salad greens, the combination of flavors can be extraordinary. Dried fruits, like cherries, cranberries, apricots or raisins can also liven up a salad and may be more convenient to use at certain times of the year. Plus, their flavor has been concentrated, so a smaller amount of dried fruit will provide the same intense flavor as its fresh, whole form. 

Dressing it Up

Oils, which are considered a healthier form of fat, are needed on a regular basis but only in small amounts. They provide important nutrients and help with the absorption of others, like vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats also help promote a feeling of fullness. Depending on which type of salad dressing you choose, the recommended serving size is just one to two tablespoons – one for mayonnaise-based dressings and two for oil-based ones.

Variety is Key

Try experimenting with different recipes and an assortment of different colored vegetables to keep the salad combinations exciting and healthful. Being mindful of portions and choosing ingredients that pack a lot of flavor and texture but in small amounts will also help. Plus, it will prevent your taste buds from becoming bored.
June Calendar Dates:

  • LGBTQ+ Pride Month
  • June 19th - Father's Day
  • June 19th - Juneteenth

*Due to COVID-19 all regularly scheduled meetings are being held virtually by Zoom. For more information on meetings contact Janice Casler at

Wednesday, June 29th:
Finance Committee - 3:00 pm
Executive Committee - 3:30 pm
Board of Directors - 4:00 pm
Thank you to all of our donors. We are not able to get a photo of every donor but we thank you all the same.

We are so fortunate to have had so many of you reach out to us asking how you can help and what you can do to ensure our community is well cared for. As an essential business we provide meals and other services to members of the community in need. Your donations are more critical now than ever to ensure they continue to receive these services during this unprecedented time.

Our greatest needs are contributions, both monetary and grocery items, for our community food pantry. We are trying to keep up with the new demand and increasing needs to feed the community. Leveraging your monetary donations allows us to stretch your dollars to serve even more individuals.

CLICK HERE to make a donation today!

Thank You!