Star Valley Relies On Meals On Wheels Program

John Wakelin delivers Meals on Wheels to Payson area residents for the Senior Center

John Wakelin delivers Meals on Wheels to Payson area residents for the Senior Center Photo by Pia Wyer.

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When the Senior Center expanded the Meals on Wheels program to Star Valley in 2010, director Joanne Conlin estimated they could easily serve two-dozen residents.

She was only off by one.

Last year, the center delivered a daily meal to 25 Star Valley residents who are either homebound or otherwise unable to cook.

That is a 150 percent increase from the 10 residents who initially signed on in March of 2010. Until then, the center had only delivered in Payson.

“There are so many people who need our service,” Conlin said then. “Many people are not, for some reason, able to cook for themselves. We give them a good, well-balanced meal.”

Initially, the Star Valley council hesitated funding the program because so few people signed up, but ultimately provided funding. For the fiscal year ending in June 2013, the town gave $20,000 for the Meals on Wheels program and $9,100 for the ridership service.

At the Star Valley meeting last week, Conlin updated the council on the programs.

She said they delivered 3,242 meals to 25 Star Valley residents last year, 11 percent of all meals delivered in Rim Country.

“The people really, really appreciate it,” she said. “So thank you.”

The ridership program has also taken off. Once a week, a Senior Center van takes residents to and from Payson for errands.

Total mileage taxiing 16 people was 4,100.

“Your people really love the bus,” Conlin said.

Mayor Ronnie McDaniel praised the program and thanked the center for its work in the community.

This year, Star Valley applied for a CDBG grant to cover the cost of the programs. If approved, the town stands to give the Senior Center $20,000 for meals and $10,000 for ridership annually for the next two years.

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