Local Matters

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Meals on Wheels

February 6, 2019 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news, Meals on Wheels.

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Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department assisted the Genesee County Office for the Aging with delivering meals to seniors who participate in the Meals on Wheels Program in the City of Batavia yesterday.

Officer Jason Davis, along with his wife, Office for the Aging employee Wendy Davis, delivered several meals to City residents.

The following info is from the Genesee County Office for the Aging website;

“Home Delivered Meals are available to any Genesee County resident 60 years of age or older who is incapacitated due to illness, surgery, physical handicap or advancing age, AND is unable to prepare their own meals, AND is without support of family, friends or neighbors for meal preparation. Services are available based on need without regard to income.

Meals are delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There is no delivery on holidays. Services may be discontinued at any time, or can be interrupted if needed for vacations or hospitalizations.

To see the monthly menu, go the County Office for the Aging website here and click on Menus on left side of the home page. To see the February menu, for example, click here.

Everyone that receives a meal has the opportunity to contribute. The suggested contribution is $3 per single meal and $4.50 for a double meal. No one is refused service for inability to contribute.

Referrals may be made to the Home Delivered Meals Intake worker by calling (585) 343-1611.

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June 29, 2018 - 7:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in kohl's, Meals on Wheels, Office of the Aging, Seniors, charity.

Above photo of Kohl's volunteers who helped deliver flowers to seniors in Genesee County, from left: Dar Moleski, Corde Smart and Andrea Osewalt-Renz. Not pictured: Jeffrey DeMare.

Press release and submitted photos:

Beautiful bouquets of flowers were hand delivered to more than 80 Meals on Wheels recipients this week, creating a wave of surprise and an abundance of smiles across Genesee County. An individual called to express her gratitude, saying the gesture had made her week.

The Office for the Aging and the RSVP Volunteer Placement Program are pleased to have partnered with the Kohl’s Batavia store for Kohl’s Cares Associates in Action. 

Five local employees volunteered their morning to help bring joy to area older adults. Additionally, Kohl’s Corporation will make a monetary donation to the Genesee Senior Foundation to further support programming for residents 60 and older, their caregivers and younger individuals with disabilities.

The special flower delivery was made possible through the generosity of a private donation, specifically to benefit the lives of our more homebound residents. Anyone interested in donating is encouraged to do so through the Genesee Senior Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with the Office for the Aging.

Please call Dorian Ely, Services Coordinator at 343-1611 to learn more about charitable donations to the Foundation.

The Office for the Aging wishes to thank everyone involved in making this day special, including staff and volunteers from Kohl’s, OFA, RSVP and the ARC Culinary Program.

Photo below is Doreen Wright, the woman who coordinated the flower-delivery effort between Kohl’s and the Office for the Aging.

March 17, 2017 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Meals on Wheels.

UPDATE:  Some information just came to my attention that I didn't know about at the time I wrote this story, and apparently, Chris Collins didn't know about either.  The budget proposal doesn't directly cut Meals on Wheels at all.  It cuts a community block grant program that is used for a lot of things, and a tiny portion of that money sometimes goes to Meals on Wheels.  There are also other federal funding sources for Meals on Wheels. See this article from Reason Magazine.

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During an appearance on CNN last night, Rep. Chris Collins vowed to support Meals on Wheels through the congressional budget process.

"It's a wonderful program," Collins said. "I would never even vote to cut $1 from that program."

Though she didn't directly hear Collins on TV last night, that's good news to Ruth Spink, director for Office of the Aging, which administers Meals on Wheels in Genesee County. She said the program has many benefits for the residents who participate, their families and the volunteers who help deliver meals.

A budget proposal put forward by President Donald Trump would cut all federal support for Meals on Wheels.

Spink said at the spur of the moment when we called this morning say how much of the funding for the local program comes from the federal government, but that the program is subsidized by federal and state money along with a county match, which makes up 90 percent of the funding for the program. Elderly participants who receive meals also have the option to pay for the meals, though that is not a requirement.

Spink said in the county, about 90 meals are delivered per day and another 30 are served at a community meal hosted at various locations.

The benefits of the program go beyond meal delivery, Spink said. The daily visits by volunteers can also serve to check on the welfare of elderly people, giving peace of mind to them and their family members, as well as give many of these people who are shut-ins a bit of social time with another person, and it allows older people to stay in their homes longer, which saves taxpayers money.

"Perhaps Trump doesn't understand that the more in-home service we can provide the longer we keep them out of residential care, which is significantly more costly than home delivered meals," Spink said.

There is a group of about 25 people who volunteer to deliver and serve meals, and groups such as the Kiwanis Club of Batavia provide more volunteers on a rotating basis.

Collins told Van Jones on CNN last night that his mother-in-law received Meals on Wheels before she died and that when he was county administrator in Erie County; he oversaw the program there and visited the community centers that ran the program, so he knows how important and valuable it is, he said.

Spink said she understands there is a whole budget process Congress must go through before the fate of Meals on Wheels is decided and support from Collins is great, but people need to speak out, she said.

"It's only a proposed budget, so we don't want people to panic, but we do want people to let their representatives know how important this program is to them," Spink said.

On the show, Collins said he also supported immigration reform that would make it easier for farmers to hire and retain immigrant labor and that he believes immigrants who came here without documentation but have been productive and stayed out of legal trouble otherwise should be allowed to stay in the country legally. He was addressing a young lady who is part of the Dream Act Program and Collins told her he welcomed her to our country and wished her a long and successful life in the United States. He said he didn't believe any undocumented workers who hadn't committed criminal acts once in the United States were being deported.

He reiterated his support for an NIH program he helped sponsor to help deal with the opioid epidemic, but when pressed by Van Jones on the issue, which Trump campaigned on, Collins said many of the issues around opioid addiction are really state-level issues.

Renee Sutton, of Canandaigua, one of his constituents, pressed Collins on why he hasn't held, and has refused to hold, a town hall meeting. Collins said he never held one while county executive in Erie County and hadn't held one before this became an explosive issue this year. He said he doesn't believe in them because they are not a productive way to hold meaningful conversations with constituents. He said he meets with constituents all the time and values small group discussions, such as those he regularly has with farmers and medical professionals. He said any constituent can request a meeting with him and he will meet with them.

May 1, 2012 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC, Meals on Wheels.

It's one of those situations where everybody wins -- people dependent on Meals on Wheels will once again get five days of meal delivery, Genesee ARC is able to expand the services it provides the county, and the county's budget won't be severely impacted.

On Monday, the Public Service Committee approved a contract with Genesee ARC to handle the Meals on Wheels program for the Office of Aging.

The cost to the county will be about the same -- $186,425 annually -- as the current program, which delivers meals only three days a week.

The new program will also deliver hot meals, instead of cold dishes.

"We think it will be a nice service for people, with the personal check for people and they get a nice hot meal," said Pam Whitmore, director of Office for the Aging.

The previous meal provider was the American Red Cross out of Rochester.

The cost works out to about the same because it was costing nearly a $1 per meal just for delivery of meals from Rochester. That $1 will now go toward increased service and improved meals.

The meals will be prepared by Genesee ARC staff and clients at its renovated facility at 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia.

Whitmore said one reason Genesee ARC won the contract is the organization's emphasis on customer service.

"Being part of Genesee County, they really wanted to do what was best for the people in the program," Whitmore said.

WBTA's Dan Fischer contributed to this story.

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