Four 502 Senior Dining Facilities Closing in Southern Minnesota

Posted at: 12/27/2013 10:36 AM

Photo: Photo: MGN Online/University of Arkansas

LEWISTON, MN (AP) - Some three dozen of Minnesota's 502 congregate dining facilities for seniors, including 4 in southern Minnesota, are closing next week, the victim of federal budget cuts.

The community action agency called, Semcac, runs more than fifty 502 dining facilities in southern minnesota. But Executive Director, Wayne Stenberg, says Semcac is closing the 502 facilities in Lewiston, Houston, Morristown and Wannamingo. He says Semcac is dealing with a $97,000 cut in federal funding due to sequestration.
Minnesota Public Radio reports the sites aren't bringing in enough people to stay open. Most of those closing are in Greater Minnesota.
Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging, says providers have made alternative arrangements for seniors, including converting many to home-delivered meals. But she says closing a site is always hard and it takes time for folks to adjust.
Minnesota got $6.9 million last under the Older Americans Act, which funds senior programs including congregate and home-delivered meals, and other programs. That money was cut by nearly $500,000, about 7 percent, forcing regional agencies that distribute the money to close sites with declining populations.
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