Utah County's home-delivered meals program won't have to cut off any of its elderly clients, thanks to a donation from Intermountain Health Care.
Mark Howard, IHC chief executive officer for Utah County, presented the Mountainland Association of Governments a check for $27,000 on Tuesday. The association administers the meals service through the county Department of Aging and Adult Services."Rest assured it can feed a lot of hungry people," said Homer Chandler, Mountainland executive director.
The meals program was in danger of exceeding its budget after Commissioner Malcolm Beck instructed the department to deliver food to every eligible client, including 132 on a waiting list. In the meantime, Beck searched for a private donation to cover the added costs.
At the same time, the state Department of Human Services allowed the program to overspend in anticipation of a supplemental appropriation from the Utah Legislature, said Ted Livingston, director of county aging services.
The program received the state money, but without the IHC donation, Livingston said, he would have had to cut service at the end of March. That would have meant a new waiting list this June.
Beck, who directs the county aging advisory committee, said it was his goal to eliminate the waiting list.
"That takes care of all of our aging people in the Utah County area," he said after Chandler accepted the check.
Meals are currently delivered to more than 330 county residents, Livingston said. He said he expects that number to reach 400 by the end of the year.
Mountainland oversees human service programs in Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties.