Services in the Six-County senior citizen nutritional program are being cut because of a lack of funding. Centers will operate only Tuesdays through Fridays.
One meal per week is being eliminated at the senior citizen centers. A frozen dinner will be delivered to homes on Fridays to replace the Monday hot meal, said Judy Fullmer, program director.Funding has been cut by more than $50,000.
It isn't the first time services have been adversely affected. The program was closed for 10 days in December so that it could continue through the fiscal year ending June 30, 1988. "Volunteers, families, friends, civic and church groups were called upon to meet the needs of the homebound," Fullmer said.
A similar shutdown may be needed before the end of this year because of a shortage of funds.
More adjustments may be necessary when the new fiscal year begins, too. The budget process is now under way.
The home-delivered meal program is a prime concern of the Area Agency on Aging. These meals are mandatory for five days each week under the funding program.
Fullmer doesn't anticipate reducing the home-delivered program to four days per week, but said fewer people will get such meals because of stricter criteria that will be developed.
Waiting lists will get longer and meals probably won't be delivered to outlying areas, she predicted.
The amount of money available is still undetermined, so some parts of the program are still speculative. Changes are certain, however.
Fullmer foresees more congregate participation will be needed to keep centers active, and home-delivered meals will go only to those who really need them.
"It is important for seniors and families to realize that their support is vital for continuation of the nutrition program," the director said. Officials will especially need to make delicate adjustments to determining where home-delivered meals are distributed.
Basic funding is provided through the Older Americans Act, supplemented with state nutrition funds. In-lieu cash and commodities are received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meal donations, county funds and the home-delivered programs are supplemented by additional social service block grants.
The nutritional program fared well in the Six-County area until this year, Fullmer said. It has served the largest number of meals of any of the 12 districts in Utah. This included 59,211 congregate meals and 64,141 home-delivered meals in 1987.
Meal donations make up a large part of the budget. Suggested donation is $1.25 per person.
The federal government doesn't allow set charges for meals, but the Area Agency on Aging suggests donation rates. Confidential donations are also accepted.
The program was first started in Richfield, Monroe and Salina in 1977 and then expanded into Millard, Piute, Wayne, Sanpete and Juab counties. Nutrition programs now operate in 15 out of 19 senior centers.
Meals are contracted with school districts, Snow College in Ephraim, and Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi.
Senior citizen centers served congregate and home-delivered meals, respectively, in communities and counties as follows during 1987: Monroe, 5,033, 4,919; Salina, 2,950, 5,452; Redmond, 1,373, 1681; Gunnison, 4,068, 6,305; Moroni, 6,135, 5,008; Fillmore, 3,948, 1959; Nephi, 6,699 (home-delivered only); Koosharem, 4,046, 1,544.
Also, Wayne County, 4,373 (home- delivered only); Manti, 6,227, 8587, Ephraim, 5,892, 4,005; Piute County 4,357 (home-delivered only); Delta 5,887, 1,389; (11 months), 3,984, 208.