EFFINGHAM — Increased federal and state cuts will force CEFS Golden Circle Nutrition Program throughout Effingham County to cut the number of meals to seniors to four days a week starting in April.
The program, which provides a meal to seniors at locations in Effingham, Teutopolis, Dieterich, Altamont and Beecher City and brings meals to homebound seniors, has been in existence for more than 40 years and has provided meals five days a week. In 2013, the program provided nearly 51,000 meals to nearly 1,000 different seniors.
Now, the program is reaching out for community support and looking for sponsors to make up for the more than $55,000 in cuts in order to keep serving seniors five days a week.
"We've done all we can," said Program Manager Debbie Weber. "We've had significant cuts over the years, and we've been able to sustain it but this is different."
Weber said the organization is looking for financial backing from community groups, and she has approached local businesses, townships and the county for financial support to prevent a reduction of days of service.
"We're looking for someone to step up and say we'll take care of it or this is going to have to happen year after year," she said. "We don't expect any changes in funding from the state."
Donations to the program are tax deductible and can be sent to CEFS/GCNP, Attn: Debbie Weber, P.O. Box 928. Effingham, Il 62401.
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at firstname.lastname@example.org