Archived Story

Sequestration cuts not felt yet by meal programs

Published 9:37pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sequestration’s “impact on us has been fairly small,” Cass County Council on Aging Executive Director Bob Cochrane said Tuesday.
While a $2.4 million statewide reduction resulting from Washington budget gridlock in March caused 22 Macomb County meal sites to eliminate Friday lunches, “We’ve not been impacted anywhere near that,” Cochrane said.
The COA saw U.S. Department of Agriculture funding shrink from $800 a month to $450 a month, but his agency was able to absorb a cut of that size through other sources.
While volunteers deliver meals throughout the county five days a week to about 50 instead of the usual 70 to 80, Cochrane said that is due to private pay turnover rather than sequestration.
The COA’s meals on wheels program provides one or two meals daily for up to seven days a week to homebound adults 60 years or older.
Meals on wheels helps older adults remain independent in their homes and still get their nutritional needs met.
Meals are pre-cooked, nutritious and suitable for most dietary needs.
The COA kitchen staff at the Lowe Center in Cassopolis cooks meals served at the congregate meal site at Chestnut Towers as well as Front Street Crossing, which also offers a “café” menu of sandwiches, soups and salads made on-site in downtown Dowagiac.

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