ALPENA – Alpena Senior Center has been providing vital services to seniors throughout Alpena County for decades, and they have kept their prices affordable, despite inflation.
Rising food costs and supply chain issues in recent years have made it more difficult, but the senior center will continue to cut costs and provide services for seniors. They may just need your help.
Providing meals to the elderly is one of the center’s main functions. Last year alone, they served more than 71,000 meals, including communal meals in the dining hall, as well as meals on wheels delivered to seniors in Alpena County.
“Just because of rising food costs and overall living costs, we are considering fundraising here at the senior citizens center,” said Annie Hepburn, executive director of the Alpena Senior Citizens Center. Hepburn has been its director for almost six years.
Their upcoming fundraisers include an online auction from November 1-11 and Giving Tuesday on November 29.
BJ Sander, program director at the senior center, is also hosting a fundraising challenge with some of her exercise group participants.
“The senior center offers tons of programs, tons of services, for seniors in Alpena County, ages 60 and up,” Hepburn explained. “We get grants, both state and federal, we do fundraisers — a lot of our programs are donation-based.”
She explained that 30% of the funding for the senior center comes from donations.
In addition to meals, many other activities, programs, and resources are available at the senior center, including exercise classes throughout the week.
Hepburn noted that while the suggested donation for Meals on Wheels remains at $3.50, they average less than $1 per meal in donations, leaving a funding shortfall. But the service is imperative for seniors who are locked in and may not see another person that day, other than their Meals on Wheels driver, who is also making sure they are okay and calling for help. if they need it.
As for communal meals, the average donation is about $2.80, Hepburn said.
“With the rising cost of food, it becomes an issue that we have to deal with,” Sander said.
The suggested donation per meal will remain at $3.50, but the center could use more donations to help cover these costs.
The Seniors Center Thanksgiving Dinner will be offered curbside only from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. You must reserve your meal in advance by calling 989-356-3585. The cost of this complete Thanksgiving meal is just a suggested donation of $3.50 per person aged 60 and over, or a cost of just $7 for anyone under 60.
The meal includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, a bun, vegetables, a brownie, and apple juice.
RSVP for your Thanksgiving meal by November 7.