Editor's note: This is the next in a series of articles about the member agencies of the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
MARIETTA - The Senior Nutrition Program offered through Washington-Morgan Community Action served about 60,000 meals last year through its home-bound meal deliveries and congregate nutrition sites.
The nutrition program receives funding from the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Wilma Williams, left, and Sara Perry, right, both of Belpre, have a meal recently at the Belpre congregate nutrition site at Rockland United Methodist Church in Belpre. The site is one of six provided through the Senior Nutrition Program of Washington-Morgan Community Action, along with a home-bound meal delivery service. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
Carrie McNamee, director of Senior and Community Services at Community Action, said the program offers six congregate nutrition sites, which include five in Washington County and one in Morgan County.
The sites are: Marietta, O'Neill Senior Center, Fourth and Scammel streets; New Matamoras, Carrol Senior Center, 606 Broadway Ave.; Lower Salem, Lower Salem Village Hall; Beverly, John Dodge Senior Center, 218 Fourth St.; McConnelsville, Reicker Building, 155 E. Main St.; Layman, Layman United Methodist Church, Brownrigg Road; and Belpre, Rockland United Methodist Church, 2300 Washington Blvd.
Food is prepared at the O'Neill Senior Center in Marietta from Monday through Friday, with 400 meals prepared daily, which includes the congregate meals and the program's home-delivered meals, McNamee said.
The program is for seniors over the age of 60 for the congregate sites and age 60 and over and homebound for the delivered meals. There are no income guidelines and while a $3 donation is requested for the meals, they will still be provided if a person can't pay, McNamee said.
Both programs have grown over the years, but the limiting factor is funding, she said. There is a waiting list with over 100 people on it for the home-delivered meals, but the program doesn't have enough money to expand the service further at this time.
Depending on the season, the congregate sites may have between five to 25 people who come in for the meals.
"We always have more and more people that are needing services as our population ages, especially here in Washington County," she said.
Funding for the nutrition program is a mixture of federal, state and local money, including the Senior Services Levy in Washington County. The United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley also provides monetary support, as does the United Way of Washington County.
The money provided by the United Way goes into the general fund of the nutrition program, McNamee said.
"What it does is help us serve more people, especially on our home-delivered meal routes," she said. "Without United Way funding, we wouldn't be able to serve as many people as we serve now.
"The United Way is a very, very important part of our funding," she said.
Last year, Community Action served a total of 46,000 home-delivered meals in Washington County and 14,000 congregate meals, McNamee said.
For more information on the program for Washington or Morgan County, call the main office at (740) 373-3745.