Local Meals on Wheels program running into problems

“It is crunch time,” said Wayne County Aging and Youth, Director Penny Shockley.

Home Delivered Meal (Meals on Wheels) Program Director Karen Breen and Board Director Sergei Barishevich came into the Human Services Committeee meeting on Monday (4/2) to discuss the financial crunch the local Home Delivered Meal Program is having. The number of senior citizens requesting or already taking part in the program has increased by 5,000 over the past three years; however, contributions from the individuals have significantly decreased.

The fact is that the population is aging and the number of individuals living into and beyond the 80s has increased over the years. According to Shockley, the number of persons experiencing conditions of frailty, disability, lack of support, inability to shop, or cook is rising sharply.

Meals are prepared through Wayne ARC and the County’s Nursing Home. All meals are delivered by volunteers and must be delivered to the client’s home within two hours of their preparation.

Due to the “crunch” at this time the program is not accepting any new clients, as they do not have the funding to expand the program, although there is a waiting list of elderly needing the services.

This year it is projected the Home Delivered Meal Program will cost $243,780 and receive $43,090 in contributions. The cost for ARC to prepare a meal a lunch meal is $4.10 for lunch and $2.33 for an evening meal, the cost for the Nursing Home to prepare a meal is $ 3.80 lunch and $1.80 for the evening meal.

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