‘Second Chance’ funding needed for meals

Published 12:03 am Saturday, April 2, 2011

As funding dwindles, there is now a “second chance” to ensure that meals continue to be served at the Florala Senior Service Center, said director Loretta Sasser.

Currently, there are 39 daily meals distributed from the center – 17 of which are served to homebound residents.

When funding for the meals was cut last year, local residents, churches and the city stepped up to make sure no meals were lost.

Since then, that funding has slowly dwindled, Sasser said.

“People are swamped with the way the economy is, so we know it’s hard to carve out extra,” she said. “Even the churches, who have helped us in the past, are swamped trying to help others who need assistance.”

Sasser said she currently has seven meals that are sponsored.

Sasser said the 39-meal total is the largest ever served by the center, which gets funding for operations from the federal and state government. The City of Florala provides matching funds for various projects, such as grants.

“We have more seniors than the 39 that use our center,” Sasser said. “Those are just the ones that eat meals there. We’re trying not to lose people, and it’s difficult to do that when there is a need.”

It costs $49 a month to sponsor one meal; $153 for three months or $575 for the year, and “anyone can do it,” Sasser said.

“All donations are welcome, but we have to have guarantees on the meal donations,” she said.

To help raise additional funds, the center is sponsoring a “Second Chance” prom on May 21 at 6 p.m. in the Florala Middle School gym. It’s open to those aged 40 and older. Cost is $3 per person or $5 per couple. All proceeds will be used to fund meals at the center.

“We’d been wanting to do this as an activity for while anyway, so we thought it would be a novel idea to use it as a fundraiser,” Sasser said. “Our seniors wanted to do it to let the community know what they’re doing here at the center, and it’s a great way for the community to meet our seniors.

“We needed a fundraiser, so this was a perfect fit,” she said.