EFFINGHAM — A last-minute donation from St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital has given the Golden Circle Nutrition Program the ability to serve seniors five days a week in Effingham.
In late March, the program announced it would have to cut a day of meal service, beginning this month, citing rising food costs and lack of state funding as the reason.
CEFS Program Director Debbie Weber was pleased with the ability to continue serving meals to seniors five days a week.
“Malnutrition is an often unrecognized health issue for seniors,” she said. “For many seniors, access to a home-delivered meal allows them to live independently with daily social contact rather than living in isolation or in a nursing home.”
The donation provides enough funding to fully operate the program through the end of their fiscal year, Sept. 30. With future funding from the state uncertain, Weber said the program is actively holding fundraisers for future revenue.
The program delivers meals to seniors in communities throughout the county and while those who receive the meals are asked to donate a small suggested amount, it is not enough to sustain the program.
Even though the donation will continue to fully fund meals in Effingham, Weber said money is still needed to fund the program in other communities. While enough money was raised and donated to continue fully funding the program in Teutopolis and Altamont, Beecher City and Dieterich will only receive meals four days a week, added Weber. At full capacity, the program delivers 220 meals to Effingham County residents.
“When a hot meal is delivered to the senior, they have a better chance of eating a nutritionally balanced meal than they would have if they had prepared the meal themselves,” said Weber. “In addition to the nutritional value of the meal, older adults served by this program also benefit from the opportunity to socialize with the person delivering the meal, which greatly improves their mental and physical health.”
For more, see Saturday's edition of the Effingham Daily News