Federal funding secures JoCo senior meals
OLATHE – Johnson County’s nutrition program for older residents has received more than $100,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support existing services of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging.
The services include providing noon meals at eight local neighborhood centers, including the De Soto Senior Center, and delivering meals to homebound residents through the county’s Meals on Wheels program.
Funding also will be used to support the Choosing Healthy Appetizing Meal Plan Solutions for Seniors program, a non-traditional senior dining option at local grocery stores.
The federal funds will replace a corresponding reduction in state funding for the existing nutrition program of the Area Agency on Aging.
The Johnson County Commission on Aging voted unanimously to recommend that the county accept the ARRA funding, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Aging.
On Thursday, the Johnson County Commission agreed with the recommendation. Commissioners authorized the AAA to accept $100,531 in ARRA grant funding with a county match of $17,284 for a total authorization of $117,815. The county’s match will come from the existing budget of the Department of Human Services, which oversees the Area Agency on Aging.
“These funds are meant to assist communities and the national aging services network hit hard by rising food costs at a time when demand for services is increasing due to the economic downturn and the growing number of older adults,” Daniel Goodman, director of Area Agency on Aging, said.
Goodman said the federal funding was meant to provide meals to seniors in need of food and prevent nutrition services from being reduced and staff reductions because reductions at the state level.
Goodman anticipates the county’s nutrition program for seniors will receive an estimated $61,000 in donations and about $18,800 in other funding, providing a total of $197,662 to this portion of nutrition program budget. That budget will provide approximately 17,535 congregate meals and 11,500 home-delivered meals.
The ARRA grant funding will span two years with $33,477 used to support the AAA nutrition program this year and $67,054 earmarked for services in 2010.