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Az will get $2M for senior meals

Citizen Staff Writer



Nutrition programs for Arizona seniors will get a nearly $2 million boost through federal stimulus dollars released Wednesday.

The money will be used for meals at senior centers as well as those delivered to homebound elderly.

“We’re excited that on a national level, individuals know of the plight of seniors,” said Jim Murphy, chief executive of the Pima Council on Aging. “Our concern now is the state level.”

Arizona’s share is $1.3 million for meals served in such communal places as senior centers, as well as $657,147 for home-delivered meals, such as Meals on Wheels.

Diana Edwards, program director of the Pima Council on Aging, estimates that 15 percent of each of these amounts will go to Pima County.

A distribution formula based on several factors, including the number of people age 18 and over as well as the number of people with disabilities, will decide the exact amount the county gets.

The money comes from a $100 million infusion of stimulus dollars into the Older Americans Act. The state must provide a 15 percent match to trigger the federal dollars.

Officials with the state Department of Economic Security said they are working with various community groups to identify the needed matching dollars.

In Pima County, about 2,000 meals are delivered to homes and 2,100 congregate meals are served in senior homes a day, Murphy said.

The Arizona Republic contributed to this article.

State getting $2M in stimulus funds for senior meals

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