Meals on Wheels could expand with state grant

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 29, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – In today’s economy, $2,000 might not seem like much – but it means that the Concordia Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program could serve two or three more people this year.

This week, the Town of Ferriday received word that it would receive a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Rural Development.

Of that, $23,000 will be used to renovate an old gym for use as a community center, but the rest will go to fund Meals on Wheels.

The program now serves 82 elderly people, which costs close to $200,000 in federal, state and local funds.

But 10 people are on the waiting list for Meals on Wheels, which delivers hot lunches to seniors five days a week.

&uot;This grant is certainly good to have, because it means we could probably serve two or three more people,&uot; said council Executive Director Dorothy McDonald.

And that, said 82-year-old Hazel Enterkin of Vidalia, is good news. Since last August, she has received lunch delivered by Meals on Wheels because arthritis now keeps her from getting around easily.

&uot;I’m glad to hear they’re getting some more money,&uot; Enterkin said. &uot;I know it means a lot to me, especially since I&160;can’t get around like I used to.&uot;

Meals on Wheels is the only way many disabled senior citizens will get a hot meal, McDonald said.

&uot;They could maybe fix cold cereal or a sandwich, but not much more than that,&uot;&160;she said.

&uot;This way, they get meals that are required to have at least one-third of their RDA for vitamins and minerals.&uot;

And McDonald said meals are not the only things Meals on Wheels provides.

&uot;For some of them, the person who delivers the meal is one of the few people they’ll see all day,&uot; she said.

It is not yet known when the council will receive the money, McDonald said.