Meals Plus Under the Gun
It was inevitable. The Meals Plus for Seniors Program is in dire financial condition. The organization has already made cuts in the past and now they are facing additional moves to save money including no food deliveries to the elderly on weekends.
Effective August 1st (tomorrow) four meal sites will be closing including Harvest Hill Retirement Center in Quincy and sites in Mt. Sterling, Browning, and Barry, Illinois. One administrative position will also be terminated. Also, the frozen meal program will be eliminated which will affect some 90 people in a six county area.
Over 100 Quincy people will be affected by the end of the weekend food delivery. The weekend program was only in effect in Quincy. Those people will need to find an alternative plan for food on Saturdays and Sundays. For many, the meal delivered to them was the only meal they would eat each day so the stopped weekend meal deliveries is a cause for concern as well.
The service this operation does goes far beyond serving meals to the elderly. The visit by a Meals Plus representative also serves as a way to make sure these elderly individuals are actually doing alright. For many, it's the only contact they have with people so going from Friday to Monday is a long time for someone, especially elderly, to be isolated.
Nancy Waters, the Meals Plus for Seniors Director, is hoping that these will be the last cuts made to the program and hopes things will return to normal when the economy does as well.
This is such a great program and hopefully we have seen the last of these cuts. You can help out by purchasing a meal each month as part of the Cook's Night Off event held the third Thursday of each month. The next Cook’s Night Off is set for Thursday, August 16th. It’s a fundraiser for the Meals on Wheels program as they offer eat-in, carry-out, or drive thru meals for just $7 each. All meals include either Fried Chicken or Roast Beef, two side dishes, bread and dessert. The hours for each 3rd Thursday of each month are 4 to 6pm at the Senior Center at 639 York Street. Buy several meals for the whole family that night and even though a tip is not necessary, they sure could use one next month.