Havelock seniors asked to donate for lunches at center

seniors lunch

Seniors enjoy lunch at the Havelock Senior Center. The center is asking for a $1 donation from seniors for the once free lunch program. Funding cuts are the reason for the donation request.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 at 05:15 PM.

Seniors who participate in the lunch program at the Havelock Senior Center are being asked to help pay for some of the cost.

Seniors who eat lunch at the center are being asked for a $1 donation to help pay for the meals.

“We’re asking for a donation. We’re not charging for it,” said A.D. Brady, director of the senior center in Havelock. “If they don’t have the money, they still get to eat. We’re not going to turn away any senior who needs a meal. If they have a spare dollar, we’ll be glad to take it.”

Funding for the congregate meals program for the Havelock Senior Center was cut two years ago. Eligible seniors in the area were told they could drive to New Bern to participate in the program. Not wanting to see seniors have to drive to New Bern and miss out on the opportunity for socialization and a meal, organizers at the Havelock center vowed to continue serving free lunches and received donations from various groups to help pay for the meals.

“The Disabled American Veterans gave us a check for $1,000, and that’s going to help,” Brady said. “It takes $200 a week to pay for the groceries to cook the food.”

Brady said the meal program survived for a year on those donations and other contributions, but money is getting harder to come by.

“Our funds are drying up,” he said. “We were not funded last year, and we’ve been running on donations. The Craven County aging board and the county commissioners have decided we’re not going to get any money this year, so we are in need of funds. We’re going to ask the seniors to bear some of that burden. … Financially, we just need a little assistance right now.”

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