Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Like many programs facing challenging times, the Red Cross’ Good Neighbor Nutrition Program (GNNP) is expecting a 7% reduction in funding. GNNP provides a warm and nutritious meal for seniors 60 and older.
“Because we work with these people every day, we know how important the Good Neighbor Nutrition Program is to our clients,” said Bev Morlan, executive director for the American Red Cross. “I’m confident the plan we’ve developed with our partners the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging is the best solution to the budget cut.”
To make up for the $100,000 loss, the Red Cross has redistributed GNNP’s remaining financial resources to the seniors who need them. As a result, only 3 percent of clients will be affected by the 7-percent budget cut.
In order to minimize the effect on clients, GNNP and the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging approved a plan that will either consolidate meal sites or provide resources and referrals to other dining services. Seniors who are currently eating at a meal site set to be consolidated will be referred to a meal site within two miles of their current location to receive their meal. As a result of consolidations and closures, the Red Cross will lay off eight part-time staff. The meal sites to be consolidated are:
• Country Acres, 343 Country Acres, will be consolidating into Maple Gardens Dining Center, 10200 W. Maple
• Shady Way, 1421 N. Spruce, will be consolidating with Northeast Dining Center, 2121 E. 21st St.
• Sheridan Village, 1051 S. Bluffview, will be consolidating with Linwood Senior Center, 1901 S. Kansas
• West Park, 3618 W. 13th St., will be consolidating into Orchard Park Senior Center
Because of funding cut caused by the economic downturn, the Red Cross is also closing two congregate meal sites. Volunteers will be needed to help seniors who depend on GNNP in these areas. Congregate sites set to close are:
• Andover Dining Center, 410 Lioba, Andover, Kan.
• Valley Center Dining Center, 316 E. Clay, Valley Center, Kan.
How people can help
As always, volunteers are needed to ensure seniors receive the level of quality and service they expect. Volunteers allow costs to stay down so more dollars can be spent on meals. GNNP volunteers would be asked to deliver meals in Andover and Valley Center or transport seniors to the nearest meal site. For information on becoming a Red Cross GNNP volunteer, please call 219-4090.
About the Good Neighbor Nutrition Program
The GNNP serves more than 1,000 meals a day to seniors 60 and older, but it’s more than just a meal. It provides an opportunity for more than 2,300 seniors in the Wichita area to remain independent by providing a location where they can socialize and converse over a hot, healthy meal. GNNP also delivers meals to homebound seniors who are immobile because of physical or other issues. In the past year, more than 200,000 meals were served to seniors. GNNP has an operating budget of $1.4 million and is funded through a grant supplied by the state of Kansas and distributed by the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging.
About the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter:
The American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; supports military members and their families; provides free meals, education and medical transportation to seniors; and keeps families in their homes with social services. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.midwaykansas.redcross.org or call 219-4000.