A senior meals program threatened by budget cuts in the City of San Jacinto will continue operating thanks to a partnership among Riverside County, the city and a non-profit group that prepares the meals.
The partnership arose after the San Jacinto Community Center was slated to be closed Dec. 19. The nutrition program provides 200 to 300 meals a day. Most are delivered to homes but about 60 are served at the center.
“This is the only meal of the day for some seniors, but it’s more than just food,” Stone said. “It’s a time when some isolated seniors can find help with other needs, or meet with their friends. We just could not just let that program disappear.”
With the partnership, the community center would remain open. Stone pledged $19,500 in community improvement district funds to help operations continue. Another $25,000 in federal community development block grant funds was directed by Stone toward the program. About $10,000 also is available through the Riverside County Office on Aging. Plans to use the money have been approved by Board of Supervisors.
Michele Haddock, director of the Riverside County Office on Aging, said the program provides a chance to make sure seniors are healthy and safe, and it helps allow people to grow older in their own homes with independence.
“Today, there are waiting lists for senior meals in 50 percent of American cities and we are very grateful for Supervisor Stone and our partners for maintaining this critical service,” Haddock said.
For its part, the City of San Jacinto will look for ways to operate the center as efficiently as possible in order to keep it open. While what might include reducing hours of operation, the center would remain open to serve meals and continue other functions. The non-profit group that provides the meals, the Family Service Association, also will look to works as efficiently as possible and keep the program running.
For further information, contact Supervisor Jeff Stone’s office at (951) 955-1030 through Nov. 30.