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Mobile meals program feeds 170 county seniors with nutritional meal

By Ken Larson
Sun Advocate Publisher

Teddi Akins places the prepared meals in hot ovens in the van as the crew begins to deliver some 150 locations in Price, Helper and Wellington. The meals are prepared at the Senior Center, then kept warm in these ovens and are delivered between 11 a.m. and 2:30 each weekday.

The Mobile Meals program provides over 170 nutritional meals to Carbon County Seniors, all 60 years or older. According to Viki Bowman, Director of the Price Senior Center, the Mobile meals participation is increasing at an accelerating rate this summer.

Carbon is one of the few counties in Utah that does not have a waiting list to receive the meals. In other words everyone that has applied for the program is getting a meal.

The purpose of the mobile meals program is to meet one third of the daily nutritional requirements for people over 60 years old.

With two drivers in the Price, Helper and Wellington areas and delivery to over 150 locations, not everyone receives their meal at lunch time. Bowman explained that the state guidelines require that the meals need to be delivered before 2:30 p.m. Bowman suggests "that if the meal is delivered after the time that lunch would normally be eaten, then go ahead and eat the food that would normally be ate and place the mobile meal in the refrigerator to be used for an evening meal."

Meals are delivered five days a week and then on weekends and holidays frozen meals are provided.

The staff at the Senior Center selects the menu, but it is approved by a dietitian. The meals that are provided for the mobile program are the same meals that are served at the center.

Although the local program receives some state and federal funding, Carbon County is extremely generous and contributes about 60 percent of the funding, says Bowman, adding that when the state cut the 2002 budget it was the county that reassured the local program that no one needs to fear being denied a meal this year. A $2 per meal donation is suggested and most people pay it, says Bowman.

East Carbon residents have one driver delivering 20 meals therefor delivery time in this community is made by noon.

The Center also sells the Ensure supplement which is a nutritional meal replacement drink. With a doctor's prescription the center sells a case for about $13 which is about half the cost it would be at a grocery outlet.

Anyone who is 60 years old and nutritionally needy or home bound should contact 637-5080 for more information.

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