Senior Nutrition Council offers food, fellowship

Senior Nutrition Council of Jefferson City and Cole County Executive Director Brenda Doyle loads a cart in the Clarke Senior Center with 31 meals bound for Linn and Osage County while preparing for Thursday’s deliveries as part of the council’s homebound meal program.

Senior Nutrition Council of Jefferson City and Cole County Executive Director Brenda Doyle loads a cart in the Clarke Senior Center with 31 meals bound for Linn and Osage County while preparing for Thursday’s deliveries as part of the council’s homebound meal program.

Brenda Doyle said the Senior Nutrition Council has nothing to do with finances and everything to do with age.

No one is ever forced to pay the suggested contribution of $3.50 per meal, but people must be at least 60 years old to receive the meals, unless their spouse of 60 years or older receives the meals.

Doyle, the council’s executive director for nearly nine years, said the council has a congregate meal program as well as a homebound program.

The congregate program provides meals to nearly 150 senior citizens every day at Jefferson City’s Senior Center at the Capital Mall and at the Clarke Senior Center.

Doyle said the main thing about the congregate program is that it gets people out of their homes.

“The worst thing anyone can do is sit in their home,” she said. “This way, they have a place to go, and a lot of people there have the same problems. They can relate to each other.”

In its homebound program, council volunteers deliver seven days worth of frozen meals at a time to the homes of those 60 years or older who qualify for the program.

Doyle said the homebound program serves 112 homebound individuals.

The Senior Nutrition Council, founded in 1987, is one of the United Way of Central Missouri’s 24 partner agencies, and the homebound program is completely funded by the United Way.

“Without the United Way, we would have a freeze on our homebound meals,” Doyle said. “Their funding keeps that program going.”

The United Way is about halfway through this year’s Community Campaign, which has a goal of raising $1.7 million for the partner agencies.

Doyle said the United Way also supports the council in ways besides funding.

“When we’re out looking for volunteers, they get it out on their Facebook page and different things to help us find volunteers,” Doyle said. “They also help us get the word out about the program, because a lot of people don’t even know that it exists, and if they do, they don’t really have the facts behind the program.”

If you would like more information about the Senior Nutrition Council or if you’d like to become a council volunteer, contact Doyle or Frankie Reames at 635-4120.

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