ALTON — Senior Services Plus recently was awarded a 2014 Subaru Opportunity-Based Grant for the agency’s efforts in “going green.”
The purpose of the grant program is to award member programs with grants that will have an impact on reducing hunger and isolation among seniors in their communities.
SSP applied for funding to replace disposable trays with 167 recyclable serving trays for the agency’s Meals On Wheels program. The annual costs for trays and packaging is $10,768. The agency’s suggested donations have dropped by $19,000 over the past five years.
The impact of the project is the investment in green sustainable equipment that reduces the environmental impact of SSP’s Meals On Wheels operation while addressing the increasing costs of the program.
In 2010, the agency served 123,862 Meals On Wheels for 86 cents per meal; in 2014, the agency served 128,239 meals for 62 cents per meal.
“Our reimbursement rate has not increased in seven years and we are seeing more seniors at the poverty level,” said Johnathon Becker, executive director for Senior Services Plus. “We continue to implement innovative ways to reduce expenses without affecting seniors in need. This request for grant funding will directly support lowering the costs of 42,084 Meals On Wheels.”