The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 3, 2013

Our View: More than a meal

— What’s a foil tray filled with meat, potatoes, vegetables and a small dessert worth? A lot to seniors like June Blalock, who pay $3 per meal and get a daily visit from Joplin Senior Center volunteers. They come bearing sustenance and a sense of well-being.

The home-delivered meals program, the family caregivers program and the ombudsman program operated by the Region X Area Agency on Aging are among senior services statewide taking a hit.

And we think it’s unnecessary.

First federal sequestration cut funding to senior centers. The home-delivered meal service was capped, meaning no new clients could be added. But Missouri legislators increased the budget for home-delivered meals.

The good news didn’t last long. Now withholdings by Gov. Jay Nixon are further eroding senior services. He’s called for withholdings from the state budget, citing losses in state revenue that he says would come with a tax cut bill passed by legislators. Nixon vetoed the bill, which Republican leaders say they will override in September.

Meanwhile politics are playing havoc with local senior services. Those are services that help seniors stay in their homes longer — and out of nursing homes and off Medicaid.

Representatives of local senior centers aren’t sitting around doing nothing. Take a look at today’s Senior Outlook in our paper, and you will find information about fundraisers aimed at keeping those home-delivered meals coming.

If you’d like to make a donation, call 417-781-7562.

And if you’d like to lodge a complaint, feel free to call both your legislator and the governor and tell them to quit playing politics with seniors’ lunches.

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