The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Dana Paperman
Special to the Seward Phoenix LOG 

Help area seniors continue to get the meals they deserve


August 3, 2017 | View PDF

Many senior citizens go without a full lunch plate on a daily basis, due to the rising costs of food, medication and utilities, and lack a cost-of-living increase with their Social Security retirement benefits over the past five years. This leaves more and more seniors without the resources to meet their nutritional needs.

Access to affordable food is a basic human right and without food, the body begins using up muscle for energy. When you are over 60 years of age, the body cannot afford to lose any more muscle than comes with aging. The Seward Senior Center takes on this challenge every day, with the intention to make sure no senior goes hungry or is without food.

The center staff serves hot nutritious meals in the dining room five days a week and delivers meals to seniors who do not have the ability to travel to the center because of age-related long-term illness and/or personal disabilities. We do not work alone, but rely on multiple financial partners and volunteers to improve the living conditions of our community of Seward.

SSC serves a menu that reflects our seaside town, serving fresh fish once a week throughout the year, thanks to partners from Kenai Peninsula Aquaculture (Bear Creek Weir); Captain Jack’s Fish Locker; Food Bank of Alaska; American Legion; local area restaurants and many community volunteers who donate to the nutrition program.

Since the beginning of the Older Americans Act of 1965, the U.S. has provided valuable in-home and community-based services to senior citizens, to include their nutritional and social service needs as they move into lower income years, reflective of Social Security retirement benefits. The number of seniors in need of services is rapidly growing greater than funding available, which leads to wait lists or no service at all. Currently, we are witnessing a true threat of major cuts in 2018, which holds the possibility of closing hundreds of senior centers across the nation.

Since 1978, the first year of Seward Senior Citizens, Inc., social services have reached out to the senior community, aiding them in staying independent in their respective homes, delaying long-term-care admittance, decreasing visits to the emergency room and improving the overall condition of the aging population. Over the years, we have increased and improved financial partnerships with the City of Seward, Kenai Peninsula Borough, KP United Way and the State of Alaska. Together we provide a terrific and valuable safety net for the frail and elderly of Seward.

Help us keep seniors’ lunch plate full by encouraging your senior neighbors and friends to visit the center, or contact us to make a referral of a needy senior who could benefit from meals on wheels and the many other services that the center staff extends daily. Also important: Contact Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan and encourage them to vote against financial cuts to the Older Americans Act.


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