Des Plaines alderman voted in favor of continuing to fund the Meals on Wheels program in Des Plaines in 2012 at the City Council meeting Dec. 19.
The Frisbie Senior Center, which manages the program, will receive $35,000. The funding will help pay costs associated with having an in-house social worker, who evaluates eligible recipients, and for a service coordinator, who manages day-to-day operations and schedules deliveries.
Aldermen touted the significant cost savings associated with having the senior center manage the program.
In 2010 and 2011, the city gave the center $40,000. Prior to 2010, the city managed the Meals on Wheels program itself with two city employees, costing the city more than $100,000 annually, said Seventh Ward Alderman Dan Wilson.
Volunteers from local organizations deliver meals to approximately 40 recipients in Des Plaines. The Frisbie Senior Center provided about 4,800 meals from January to October this year, said Steve Samuelson, president and CEO of the center.
The Meals on Wheels program provides hot meals to homebound seniors who are unable to prepare meals for themselves. Seniors pay four dollars per meal, which offsets the costs of preparing the meals, Samuelson said.
Aldermen unanimously approved funding the program.
“The need for food is critical,” said Fourth Ward Alderman Dick Sayad. “We understand that the problem is out there.”