executive director regretfully announces senior program changes
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For over 20 years, CIEDC has assisted seniors
in Logan and Mason counties by providing transportation and meals
through the agency's senior programs, but the services are in
danger. The executive director, Angela Stoltzenburg, has announced
regretfully that in order to keep the programs running, there have
to be several changes in services and suggested donations.
Each year, the senior transportation program at CIEDC provides over
20,000 units of transportation to disabled citizens and residents
over 60 years of age in Logan and Mason County. The senior nutrition
program provides approximately 60,000 meals on a yearly basis to the
same population through home-delivered and congregate meal service.
Although these programs are supported with a grant from the Area
Agency on Aging of Lincolnland, Logan County United Way funds, Logan
County tax referendum money and other contributions from local
groups, there is not nearly enough revenue coming into the agency to
keep up with the costs of the program. In 2005, the senior
transportation program, central kitchen and the senior nutrition
program ended with a total of $75,000 of debt. CIEDC coordinates
community fundraising to help offset the costs of programs that
suffer these kinds of financial shortfalls, but it is not keeping
Even more troublesome to the senior programs, the executive
director looks for costs to keep increasing.
"In the first month of operating this year, our costs increased
almost $2,000, based on rising costs of everything but especially
the cost of food and gas for our vehicles. We are very concerned
about our senior programs, and regretfully we are facing serious
changes to the programs in order to keep them available to our
communities. The main goals of these programs are to keep seniors in
their homes longer. The program is working, but we simply can't keep
up with costs. We aren't willing to stop providing these services
and will make any changes necessary," Stoltzenburg said.
Currently the suggested donation for a ride is $1, and that will
be going up to $2 as of April 1. Out-of-town round trips will now be
$20. The suggested donation for meals will also rise, from $1.50 to
$3, effective April 1. Suggested donations are appreciated, but no
customer will be denied services regardless of ability to pay. CIEDC
has not raised its suggested donations since the program's
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Additionally, CIEDC will deliver meals to customers only three
times per week beginning June 1. Customers will continue to receive
five different meals each week but will receive two meals on Mondays
and Wednesdays and one meal on Friday. Currently CIEDC has
successful three-day-per-week delivery in both Manito and Havana and
hopes to continue that success in Lincoln while decreasing mileage
and staff costs. CIEDC will continue to host its congregate meal
sites as usual.
Anyone over the age of 60 or married to someone over the age of
60 is encouraged to contact CIEDC at (217) 732-2159, ext. 240, to
sign up for any of these services. CIEDC administration reports that
if more seniors participate, it will actually benefit the program by
potentially providing more donations and ensuring that the grant
requirements are being met.
The senior programs director, Angie Jenkins, also reports that
many changes have already been made to reduce costs in order to slow
down the deficit.
"CIEDC is in the process of exploring food costs, a new machine
was recently purchased that allows the meals to be packaged more
efficiently with trays that are more customer-friendly and
cost-effective, and additional fundraising projects are being
discussed," Jenkins explained. "We have a wonderful staff that is
dedicated to our customers. They are working hard to make
improvements to the program and find ways to cut costs as well."
The CIEDC Community Action Agency is a private, nonprofit
organization headquartered at 1800 Fifth St. in Lincoln.
[Central Illinois Economic Development
Corp. news release]