Meals on Wheels’ program switching to swipe card system

by Dennis Sharkey

A pilot program started in Jefferson County that has been a success is making some changes.

Meals on Meals Swipe cardThe Choosing Healthy Appetizing Meal Plan Solutions for Seniors (CHAMPSS) began offering a program in 2008 that allows Jefferson County seniors over 60 to purchase vouchers that can be redeemed at a local cafe.

In Jefferson County the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging has an agreement with Rose’s Downtown Cafe in Oskaloosa. Seniors can take their vouchers into the cafe and redeem them for a meal.

Beginning April 1 the vouchers will no longer be accepted and seniors will be required to use a swipe card similar to an ATM or credit card according to Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging Executive Director Jocelyn Lyons.

Lyons said seniors will take the cards to the cafe and will be given a receipt that shows how many meals are left on the card.

In order to get seniors acclimated to the program the agency will conduct two orientation seminars at the Oskaloosa Library. The first session will be Friday at 2 p.m. The next session will be Friday, March 18, at 2 p.m.

Lyons told the Jefferson County Commissioners on Monday that the agency expects a drop off of participation at first as some seniors grapple with the new procedures.

The program began two years ago because only about three people per day were participating in the program. Lyons said two years later on average 27 Jefferson County residents participate in the program.

“They can have a meal of their choice,” Lyons said.

The program also allows the person to go and have a meal when they want as opposed to a set time every day and they can choose what they want to eat.

Lyons said the program also keeps seniors from being segregated from others in the community.

“By being able to keep them mainstream into the community they can have fellowship with their neighbors of all ages,” she said. “They are active and involved in their communities.”

Lyons said she expects the program to grow as the Baby Boomer population continues to grow.

“We expect to see more of the cafes in the rural areas to be able to have such a program,” she said.

Lyons said the enrollment process for seniors will not change and the questions will be the same.

Seniors must attend an orientation to continue in the program.

In other actions:

  • Commissioners reappointed Jerry White and Stephen Phillips to the County Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals. Their terms will expire in March 2014.
  • County Clerk Linda Buttron told commissioners that department heads will soon start formulating budget information for the 2012 budget.
  • Bids were opened for fuel supply. The county received three bids. Haag Oil was the lowest bidder.
  • Sheriff Jeff Herrig reported that the Kansas Department of Corrections wants to enter into an agreement with the county to house 15 inmates.

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Posted by on Mar 14 2011. Filed under County, County Commission, Government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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