It’s the holiday season; a time of giving and helping those in need. Recently, a need arose in Jones County.
The senior dining program receives the majority of its funding through the Heritage Area Agency on Aging. Due to funding cuts, the Jones County senior dining program is now feeling the effects of those cuts.
Senior dining is much more than a place for senior citizens to come once a day for a good, home-cooked meal. The sites in Anamosa and Monticello offer seniors social time. They play cards, games, put puzzles together, take part in programs and events such as Halloween and holiday parties and exercise routines. They stay active, have fun, eat healthy and more.
Senior dining also takes meals to seniors’ homes. The meals on wheels program caters to those seniors who maybe cannot get out but need a good meal. That contact with the person who delivers the meals is also a needed relief. They can check in on the clients, talk with them and become a source of contact as well.
With many senior citizens in our communities living alone, senior dining is their opportunity to get out and stay active. I’ve been to the Monticello senior dining site many times, at the previous location and now in their new, permanent site. It is a homey, inviting and fun environment.
To avoid anything drastic from happening to the senior dining program and its staff, consider donating funds to this well-deserved entity. While the county and towns in Jones County do contribute towards the program and provide sites for meals, that is not enough, with funding cuts.
You no doubt know people who take part in the senior meals: neighbors, parents, grandparents, maybe yourself. For their benefit, look into donating. While you may not take advantage of senior dining, think of the future of this program. Down the road, you may attend senior meals or receive hot meals to your home. Without the necessary funds, senior dining loses out.
While supporting many of our local needs this holiday season, think about our senior citizens as well. (K.N.B.)