Budget cuts hit senior meal programs

July 20, 2013

Following a $15,000 cut in federal funding last September, the Hood County Agency on Aging is taking another hit.

An additional $33,000 in federal funding will be cut in October.

Executive Director Mindy Hodges said there are no plans to cut back on programming offered in Hood County. Instead, a creative solution to make up for the lost funds will be put into action, she said.

Programming for senior citizens in Hood County includes Meals on Wheels, congregate lunches served at the Senior Center and transportation for those unable to drive to appointments.

A campaign asking people to contribute “a dollar a day to keep hunger away” begins next month.

In simple terms, people will be asked to donate $1 per meal. More than 74,000 meals were served last year.

“I was trying to think of a solution for the funding cuts,” Hodges explained. “When I saw that we served over 74,000 meals last year, I got the idea about donating $1 per meal.”

The majority of people using these services have limited financial resources with very little discretionary money, according to Hodges.

In the past, the suggested donation per meal has been $3.50. However, no one is ever turned away for inability to pay.

But the suggestion of $3.50 is overwhelming for many seniors.

“You might as well be asking for $20,” Hodges noted. “However, most of us could afford $1. Those who can give a $1 per meal will help us meet our goal.”

Hodges said there is no guilt or shame for those unable to give. “We are privileged to be able to help you,” she stated.

In addition to federal funds, the senior programs are financed with money budgeted by the city and county, grant money, donors and clients.

Donations can be given at the Hood County Senior Center, 501 E. Moore St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Donations can also be given to the drivers delivering Meals on Wheels. Or mail donations to the Senior Center at P.O. Box 849, Granbury, 76048.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 255

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