The price of a meal at the Red River Council on Aging will increase on September 1st. For the past fifteen years the daily meal contribution has been $3.00. The COA Board voted July 17th to make the increase to $4.00.
Letters are being distributed to patrons having lunch at the Depot Diner on Front Street and to recipients of the Meals on Wheels lunches. The letters explain that the actual cost of serving a hot meal in the diner is $11.60 and the cost of providing the meal to home bound participants is actually $17.48.
At the Board meeting Executive Director Liz Cannon explained the financial situation facing the Council on Aging. Cannon said during the past 12 months 13,706 meals were served in the diner and an additional 11,783 meals were delivered to homes. The total is 25,489 hot meals served to persons 60 and over.
Cannon said she had reviewed minutes from board meetings going back about fifteen years and the meal donation had always been $3.00. “It is going to put a strain on some people, I know,” Cannon added “If donations don’t increase we will have to make a change in the meals program.”
Reviewing the budget situation, Cannon said, “Donations are down. Our money is the tightest it has ever been. I feel like we need to go up on the means to a $4.00 contribution.” She added, Some people receiving the meals at home are not making the $3.00 donation. I feel that some families that receive the meals could afford to pay for the meals, but they don’t make the donation,” added Cannon.
Celia Ann Norman made the motion for the meal contribution increase to $4.00 and Dianne Slatten seconded it. The board approved the motion with no dissenting votes. Nutrition Director Michael Braswell sent out the notices to patrons of the meals program. He noted, “A portion of this cost is partially funded through the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs. The funding, however, does not meet the full cost of the program. That is why your contributions are so important.”