Hunger is a serious — and unacceptable — problem in some parts of the elderly population. Seniors living alone, with limited mobility and limited resources, are at great risk for the sorts of problems that come from not having enough food or enough healthy food.
How many such seniors live as our neighbors? According to the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, a division of the City’s Department of Human Services, there are 2,600 people enrolled through senior centers for the home-delivered or congregate meal programs — and a waiting list for new participants.
Most of the funding for the program comes from the state and federal governments. Funding cutbacks in Jefferson City and Washington have forced cuts to the meal programs in St. Louis. Hence, the waiting list. (And that list is only likely to get longer because number of seniors and the percentage of seniors as a percentage of the population will grow in the coming years.)
Earlier today, I announced that the Monsanto Fund, the charitable arm of one of the region’s most generous companies, has contributed $7,500 to the City’s meals programs. That contribution will help offset further cuts to the program. I particularly want to thank Deborah Patterson, President of the Monsanto Fund, for her help in securing the donation.
While the country, the state, and the St. Louis region work their ways through a tough economy, more seniors are going to need the meal program — and the meal program is going to need more generous backers like Monsanto.
For more information on the meal program or other services available to seniors and disabled people, call 314-612-5918.