Seniors served by the Senior Nutrition Council volunteer at the United Way of Central Missouri Kids United FunFest.
Article by Nathan Baysinger
Cole County Center Administrator, Senior Nutrition Council
The United Way of Central Missouri is proud to partner with Senior Nutrition Council, to ensure we are providing the seniors in our community the assistance they may need to remain self-sufficient and in their homes. The Senior Nutrition Council is led by a group of volunteers who, along with staff of the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, make organizational decisions concerning the Clarke Senior Center, located at 1310 Linden Drive. The Senior Centers help to meet the nutritional needs of senior citizens in the counties of Cole and Osage.
There are two primary programs at the Center; the Congregate meal program where seniors come to the Centers to enjoy a hot and healthy meal, a safe and caring environment, and the company of other seniors from the area. The other is the Homebound meal program, known as ‘Meals 4 U’. Through this program volunteers deliver healthy meals to those who have diffi ulty leaving their homes. For many seniors this program is the difference between staying self-sufficient in their home and having to go to an assisted living setting. There are no income guidelines or restrictions for services—an individual simply needs to be 60 years of age or above to enjoy the services. (There is a suggested donation of $4.00 a meal; however, no one will ever be turned away due to an inability to pay, and no one will ever be coerced to give.)
The United Way of Central Missouri is proud to play a role in the great work of the Senior Nutrition Council. The funding from the United Way made it possible for Senior Nutrition Council volunteers to distribute over 53,000 meals to homebound seniors in 2016 through the ‘Meals 4 U’ program. Many of these seniors would not have access to nutritious meals otherwise.
Additionally United Way of Central Missouri Community Support Grant funding helped the Senior Nutrition Council make the possibility of this second Senior Center a reality. In the spring of 2017, the Senior Nutrition site located on the west end of the city had to close its doors. However, with the aid of United Way and Millard Family Chapels, a second Senior Center will be coming to Jefferson City to provide a space for recreation, community and nutrition on the west side of the city. This new center will be located at 2701 West Main Street in the West Point Executive Building. Although the official date the new location will open is still being determined, the Senior Nutrition Council is hopeful that the new Center will be ready to serve seniors in our community by the first of the new year.
If you would like to learn more about the Senior Nutrition program, or are interested in volunteering to help at the Center or to deliver homebound meals, contact Nathan Baysinger, Center Administrator or Lynn Farrow, Assistant Center Administrator, at 573-634-8020. For those interested in learning more about the Senior Nutrition Council, all are welcome to attend their meetings on the fourth Monday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the Clarke Senior Center. The Council Members are: Bill Deeken, President; Mark Millard, Vice President; Ruth Anderson, Treasurer; Tony Wening, Recording Secretary; Pat Wojciehowski, Corresponding Secretary; Sharon Kirchoff ; Dorothy Tighe; June Lauf; Donna Zaring; Don Cline; Hossein Dashtaki; Mary Ann Ruth. For information on the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, contact 1-800-369-5211.