COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Aging is providing $5.3 million in pandemic relief funds to support nutrition programs at senior centers and adult day services providers.

The funds were awarded to the State of Ohio as federal financial assistance, and will help support 53 senior centers and 22 adult day services providers in the state, according to a news release.

According to ODA, the money will go toward the safe reopening and operation of meal programs, including costs associated with COVID-19 precautions.

“At the same time that the pandemic caused booming demand for nutrition services for older adults, providers found their capacity to provide them decreased and the cost of services increased,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy.

The Ohio Office of Budget and Management will begin making the relief payments this month, according to ODA.