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Horizon Senior Meal Sites To Close

MARION, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Dozens of seniors will no longer be able to get a free, hot meal on a daily basis.

The Horizons Meals on Wheels Program will close five of its congregate meal sites by the end of this month.

The sites closing are in Marion, Hiawatha, Ely, Springville and the St. Mark's Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids.

The program has been in the community for more than five decades now, but due to budget cuts, some congregate sites, like the one here in Marion, are closing.

For seniors who come to the community center at Marion Lowe park.

This moment is bliss.

"It's quite relaxing and it's fun. And it gives you a place to go to get out and meet different people, said Sandra Svoboda.

All while enjoying lunch

"Well everybody knows where there's food there's fun, Sandy who visits the site three times a week.

Thanks to Horizons Meals on Wheels.

"It's provided through the Older Americans Act that says that all they have to do is be 60 to come to a congregate site or homebound and 60 in order to get their meal delivered to their home, said Meals on Wheels Director Dianna Young.

Seniors contribute whatever they can afford, but sadly, there's just not enough money to keep all the sites open.

"The economy has changed and food prices are higher so people have had to prioritize their spending and aren't able to give as much to the senior dining program, said Young.

She says that's led to more than $200,000 in cuts across the seven county regions the program serves.

That means no more hot meals at sites like this, but home deliveries will continue.

"That's the decision we had to make so that we didn't have to affect those people in their homes, Young said.

Sandy, though, is still holding out for a miracle.

"I'm hoping to accommodate the fact that somebody will do something."

Instead of just making a donation, seniors who go to the congregate sites will now have to pay $3.50, but they won't get a meal like they do now just soup and a salad.

If you would like to help out by donating heres a link. http://www.horizonsfamily.org/Content/What-Can-I-Do/Donate-Now.aspx
 
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