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‘Sponsor a Senior’ benefits those who can’t leave home

Photo submitted to Times Observer Marilyn Anderson, promoting the Sponsor a Senior meal program.

Local seniors are unable or fearful to leave their homes with the spread of COVID-19.

This has caused an increase in demand for Experience, Inc., our Area Agency on Aging’s senior meal program.

This program provides takeout or home delivered meals to seniors in our area. Meals are provided with a suggested donation and are mostly delivered by volunteers.

According to Danell Sowers, Executive Director of Experience Inc., there has been a 56% increase in the number of meals they are providing to the community.

This has led to the creation of the Sponsor a Senior program.

Photo submitted to Times Observer Irene Rice, promoting the Sponsor a Senior meal program.

Current federal and local funding covers about 50 to 60% of the costs, the rest comes from donations.

The program has been up and running for about three weeks now and Sowers said, “the response is heartwarming.”

She wanted to thank everyone in the area doing their part and reaching out to simply ask how they are able to help.

Sowers said that she appreciates everyone practicing social distancing, staying home, wearing masks in public and keeping the senior population safe.

With the Sponsor a Senior program, you will be helping to keep meals on tables.

Meals are usually offered with a suggested three dollar donation, but even that three dollars is hard for some seniors.

And, due to the increase in meals, they are now preparing about 2,000 meals per week and Sowers said, “the funding just isn’t there.”

So far, the agency has been able to meet the demands and supply the meals, but according to Sowers, that’s simply not enough.

For $15, you are able to help cover the cost for five meals that are supplied to local seniors weekly.

Sowers said that many donations have already been made and she’s happy to see the humility come out, especially within the community.

“The community has really come together,” she said.

To find more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit the website at www.experienceinc.org.

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