Michelle Martin Streeby, Sr. Development Officer for the Mercy Foundation North spoke to the Burney Chamber of Commerce about the Shasta Senior Nutrition Program (SSNP) in Burney on April 12 at Gepetto’s Pizza.
SSNP Burney/Fall River has a $177,000 annual budget and runs four programs: the Senior Lunch Program at the Intermountain Community Center; the Food Bank; the Brown Bag Program; and Meals on Wheels.
The senior lunch program provides 2,454 meals annually serving 306 seniors. The Food Bank provides for 214 families (including 369 individuals). The Senior Brown bag program provides healthy food to an additional 129 people. Meals on wheels serves hot meals five days a week and also provides frozen meals for the weekend when they don’t deliver. Meals on Wheels serves 331 people and provides 11,227 meals annually.
The Burney Meals on Wheels is unique in the area because the drivers are all volunteers who contribute not only their time but also use their own vehicles and pay for the gas. In Anderson, Redding and Shasta Lake City the meals are delivered by part-time paid employees. Suggested donation for delivered meals is $3.50. Suggested donation for meals at the Senior Lunch at the community center is $3.
In addition to delivering meals, the drivers also check on the people receiving meals to make sure that they are okay. Often the Meals on Wheels driver may be the only human contact the homebound senior has. If their is a need for attention volunteers can call for appropriate help. On average, the SSNP office gets two calls a week reporting a need for attention. Ms. Streeby said that in at least two cases last year, lives were saved because of this service.
The Shasta Senior Nutrition Program is one of the programs sponsored by Mercy Foundation North. Mercy Foundation North is a nonprofit corporation sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. The foundation receives support from a variety of sources including grants, individual contributions, and volunteer services.
One of the main needs for the Senior Nutrition Program presently is a new refrigerated truck that would cost $107,000. They are hoping to buy a smaller, lighter truck that would carry more food, require less maintenance, and cost less in gas. The current truck does not carry the amount of food needed to supply Burney and other rural areas. So far, Mercy Foundation North has contributions and pending grant requests of $60,700, so they still need $40,000 to get the new truck.
Mercy Federation North has many operations. People who want to contribute can specify exactly what programs they want their dollars to support.
Ms. Streeby spoke to the Chamber to make them aware of the work that The Senior Nutrition Program is doing. Organizations who want to help the Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, or to purchase a new truck can contact the foundation online. People can also volunteer to help with Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank.
If you are interested in being a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels contact Bill Shannon at the Intermountain Community Center in Burney.