Archive for Thursday, September 24, 2009

Senior Services to cut weekend meals to homebound after budget cut

September 24, 2009


How to help

Anyone interested in helping preserve Douglas County Senior Services’ weekend meals program, which provides frozen meals for 25 to 30 homebound residents, may call 842-0543, drop by the Lawrence Senior Center at 745 Vt., or go online for more information about making financial contributions.

Weekend meals no longer will be arriving at the doorsteps of 25 to 30 homebound Douglas County residents.

Douglas County Senior Services plans to cut its weekend Senior Meals Program, after the organization had its annual allocation from Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging cut by $15,000.

The service will stop as of the week of Oct. 12, unless the agency can make significant progress toward raising $7,000 in donations by then, said John Glassman, executive director.

“This is difficult,” Glassman said. “The demand’s increasing, and we’ve already started a waiting list.”

Senior Services operates on a $988,000 budget, used to finance the meals program, a transportation system and other operations and offerings geared toward county residents aged 60 and older.

The organization’s meals program is among its most far reaching, typically serving 250 people weekdays with hot meals delivered both to individual and congregate residences in Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City and Lecompton.

Senior Services had hoped to provide 68,752 meals for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, Glassman said. That would be 4,000 more than the total for 2009, to be served by the end of this month.

But state and federal financing — funneled to Senior Services through the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging — dropped by $15,000, or 7 percent, for the coming fiscal year, Glassman said. That forced officials to mull cuts to programs, and they opted to shed the frozen meals regularly delivered for 25 or 30 people to use during the weekend.

Senior Services officials already have trimmed program budgets and found other efficiencies to grapple with limited resources, he said. The only option now is to make cuts, and continue working to pursue private sources for food or money to restore the weekend service.

“During the next year we will continue to explore new ways to offer nutritious meals for those elderly individuals who are most vulnerable,” Glassman said.


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