LETTER: Outsourcing AOA Nutrition Program Makes No Sense

By Beacon Staff

I am one of the site managers at Whitefish Community Center. We have had an excellent nutrition program for 35 years provided by Agency on Aging. Our center alone serves 10 to 20 seniors who eat at the center daily and enjoy fellowship with each other and with the volunteers who serve them. We also deliver delicious hot meals to on average 22 homebound seniors who also enjoy a visit with the volunteers delivering their meals. In the five years I have been site manager, I have never heard a complaint about our meals, only how delicious they are.

Meals are prepared by staff who care deeply about our seniors. They are up early preparing homemade rolls, desserts and well-balanced meals for them. The meals arrive at the senior centers hot, so hot volunteers must use pot holders to remove the food from the insulated containers in which they arrive. Volunteers check the temperature of each entree before serving. The food is immediately transferred to the warming oven and kept hot for serving. For Meals On Wheels clients, meals are put in heated food trays, then in heated insulated bags for transport by the drivers for delivery. For most of the seniors, this is their MAIN meal of the day.

Why change a program that provides so well for our seniors? The existing program provides well-balanced hot meals and fellowship with people that become like family. Flathead County Commissioner Gary Krueger’s idea of outsourcing the nutrition program to a private company makes no sense. We already have a great program that provides great food that is affordable to the seniors. People coming here from other areas say privately run programs fail to provide quality food that tastes good and is affordable.

On a different note, we need to get on with a new building for all of the Agency On Aging programs. Cal Scott is the only commissioner who really wants to get this project off the ground and completed. Thank you Cal for your kind heart and support to the senior community.

Marianne Dyon
Site manager, Whitefish Community Center

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