Fund drive under way for home delivered meals

Thursday, December 8, 2005

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Every year the Nevada Senior Center delivers more than 25,000 meals to seniors' homes.

Even with grant funds and the seniors paying as much as they can, the center needs to raise more than $29,000 to have the meal program break even, according to a recent press release.

Home delivered meals are an important part of many senior citizens nutrition. According to "Total Nutrition: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need," from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, one-half of the health problems experienced by the elderly population are related to nutrition problems.

Seniors living alone may feel meal preparation for just one person is too much trouble, which makes the effort of the senior center to deliver meals all the more important.

"I remember one woman who had been told she had Alzheimer's," Sylvia Ackley, center coordinator, said. "She kept falling and ended up in the hospital. When she came home from the hospital she went straight to bed. I went to visit her and signed her up for home delivered meals. After two weeks of home delivered meals she snapped out of it. She'd simply been malnourished. She started coming to the center, volunteered, and even fixed up and sold her home."

Tammy Roberts, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension, said that as the human body ages and gradually changes, the ability and desire to eat also changes.

"This can be the case with loose or decayed teeth or ill-fitting dentures. It starts with chewing food in a different area of the mouth to compensate for the pain in the problem area and then can progress to not eating at all because it is more trouble than it is worth," said Roberts.

The center is currently in the midst of an effort to raise funds for home delivered meals and is seeking contributions.

Anyone wishing to contribute can stop by the Nevada Senior Center in the Neal Center, 301 N. Main or call center coordinator Sylvia Ackley at (417) 667-5847,

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