Expanding Meals on Wheels Program in Washoe County - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Expanding Meals on Wheels Program in Washoe County

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The kitchen at the senior center on East Ninth Street in Reno kicks into high gear for lunch - long before the noon hour.

And today they have about 200 more meals to pack than they did last Friday. A recent survey  found that for a third of those on their home delivery program, this is the only meal they get in a day. So a little consolidation - a bit of cooperation between departments and lot of number crunching resulted in a way to fund this expansion.

"A collaboration with Social Services is making it possible to add a second meal to the list for those who need it. This is the first day. About 200 seniors said yes. We hope to expand it from there," says Grady Tarbutton.

And according to Tarbutton, this is the first significant increase in services for seniors since 1992. Not only is this a good recipe to address senior nutrition needs, it's just the beginning of changes planned to address senior needs here.

By the year 2020 they expect Washoe County's senior population to hit 100,000. So the county is planning ahead. "The county is looking at priorities , consolidating Senior Services with Social Services and it's freeing up more money to meet the needs of seniors," says Tarbutton.

Deliveries to clients like Richard Judson help take the pressure off of his other financial needs.

"This helps free up my money for other things I need for the house.." And the contact with those doing the deliveries is an welcomed extra.

Late next month Washoe County will hold hearings on changes to its master plan. One of the proposals is to consolidate senior services and social services which they say would help find more money for both.

Written by Erin Breen

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