March 03, 2010
For immediate release
Contact: Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654
With an increasing number of older adults in the community lacking regular access to meals and social connections, local agencies are working tirelessly to fill this gap.
Recently, ATRIO Health Plans and the Tuality Health Alliance provided some financial assistance for this effort, contributing $1,860 to three local not-for-profit centers.
At the Hillsboro Community Senior Center (503-648-3823), the donation is helping to supplement the daily lunch program, specifically assisting those who cannot afford the $3-per-meal cost.
Shelah Jett-Lompa, director, said they serve about 85 people each day, with about a quarter of them depending on financial assistance. In addition to serving up some tasty food, she said the program also “gives them the opportunity to come out and be with other people.”
At the Forest Grove Loaves & Fishes Center (503-359-4818), the ATRIO/Tuality funds are supporting both the Meals on Wheels program and its on-site meal offerings at the Forest Grove Senior Center.
Judy Hesselgesser, manager, said the program serves as many as 150 daily meals to low-income, older adults, including many Latino individuals. Those coming for on-site breakfasts and lunches can enjoy music on Fridays and even some holiday theme parties. While meal recipients are asked to pay what they can, “many of then can’t afford to pay anything,” she said.
The ATRIO/Tuality contribution also is helping to support the food budget at the Hillsboro Loaves & Fishes Center (503-648-2950). This program serves about 150 Meals on Wheels clients each day around the Hillsboro area. About 50 people also come to the center for lunch and to make some friendly connections.
Maria Salazar, manager, said the need continues to grow, pointing out that just two years ago, the total number of daily meals was closer to 65. “We’ve seen quite an increase (in recipients) since the economy began taking a dive,” she said.
“We applaud the invaluable work of these agencies, and their dedicated volunteers and staff who work every day to improve the lives of our local seniors,” said Sophia Stamatis, Medicare Advantage marketing coordinator, Tuality Healthcare.
To help support local meal programs for low-income older adults, please call the numbers listed above.
In Washington County, ATRIO Health Plans offers seniors who are eligible for Medicare, an advantage plan that is an alternative to traditional Medicare. ATRIO offers Medicare Advantage Plans that are affordable, comprehensive and reliable with quality customer service and access to a wide network of trusted physicians.
A unique partnership of Tuality Healthcare, local physicians, and community members, Tuality Health Alliance contracts with insurance plans to link residents in western Washington County with local healthcare services.
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