Tulsa County Senior Nutrition Program seeking new funding

Wednesday, January 19th 2005, 10:45 am
By: News On 6

The Tulsa and Creek County Senior Nutrition Program provides thousands of noon meals to area seniors.

In recent years the size of their federal grant has shrunk, while the need has gotten larger. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells shows us how the agency is trying to get more lunch money.

It's lunch time at the Cornerstone Village Senior Retirement Community in Tulsa. This is one of 23 sites where lunch is provided by the Tulsa and Creek County Senior Nutrition program. Program director Ronda Lynn: "We feed seniors 60 or older a noontime meal." They serve about 2,500 people everyday Monday thru Friday. We've got Bar-B-Q, cole slaw, beans, bread and a little noon-time entertainment. Doyle Young: "Good, it's good, it sure is."

In addition to the sit down meals here and the other locations. They package up some for residents who can't get down for lunch and from this facility 130 meals are carried to home-bound folks who've registered with the program. Ronda Lynn: "Currently we have a waiting list for our more rural area who need meals about 200 participants."

There is just not enough in the budget to cover the waiting list. The program is funded through a grant from the older Americans Act, a little over a million dollars a year. Every year the grant gets smaller, but the need doesn't. Ronda Lynn: "We could do more."

So the program has applied for non-profit status from the federal government, which will allow them to apply for grants from corporations and other agencies which can help. Ronda Lynn: "We have a list of grants we are ready to write for. We have a list of companies were already to ask money for, we even have some that are waiting to give." And plenty of people waiting for a good hot meal.

In addition to the meals the program provides some health services, nutrition education and outreach. If you'd like more information call them at 835-4160.