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Increase in baby boomers puts strain on Wayne Co. Meals on Wheels program

The boom of the baby boomers is putting a financial strain on the Wayne County Meals on Wheels program.

Ninety-year old Dorla Seely is a retired art teacher. She’s been receiving hot meals from the Wayne County Meals on Wheels program for the past three years.

“It’s been marvelous,” she said. “It saved me.”

She recently fell seriously injuring herself while at home.

“Meals on Wheels has taken over, so I don’t have to cook. It’s wonderful. We eat half of it in the morning and half for supper,” Seely said.

The program provided 36,000 meals in 2017. Organizers expect that number to grow to well over 37,000 meals this year as more seniors live longer and stay in the comfort of their own homes, like Seely. But with contributions down ,the program faces a $43,000 budget shortfall.

“Faced with those two factors, we’re finding ourselves in a deficit,” said Penny Shockley, the director of Wayne County Office of Aging and Youth. “In January, we had to stop taking referrals. “

That created a waiting list, for the very first time.

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