COA served 27,000 meals in Franklin; funding lost
St. Mary Council on Aging served 27,610 meals in Franklin last year.
Director Beverly Domengeaux told the city council Tuesday that the cost of those meals was $132,000 in 2011. The agency cleaned 72 houses every other week and gave caregivers 600 hours of assistance.
“That’s where your generous donation went and we thank you,” she said.
But the state has cut all funds for home-delivered meals, Domengeaux said. The agency is applying for grants and planning fundraisers. “I have received a lot of phone calls saying people want to help,” she said. “We have a very large homebound population. There are dinners that are given every month for people that can get around, but these people are in homes, most of them, by themselves. They don’t have family left, they’ve outlived their family, and they want to stay in their homes. That is our goal: Let them age the way they want to age in the manner of their own choosing.”
Domengeaux said September is Senior Center Month, with open houses set Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all three centers in Franklin, Patterson and Morgan City.
“We are going to dedicate a memorial wall in each center to those seniors who are no longer with us but did participate in our activities,” she said.
She said the agency “is not beaten, we’re going to keep on.”
Mayor Raymond Harris said the city would support any efforts Domengeaux makes to recover funding.
“One lady, who’s 99 years old, said she raised 13 children, went through the public school system in Franklin,” Domengeaux said. “She said, ‘I own my own house, I pay my taxes, I voted in every election that has come up. I don’t remember anybody ever saying thank you to me for being a good citizen.’ And you’ve got some seniors out there who are excellent, excellent citizens.”
—The council adopted an ordinance authorizing purchase of the former E.A. Crowell Elementary School from the St. Mary Parish School Board at a cost of $35,000. It is the current location of City Hall. Councilman Chuck Autin voted against.
—Resolutions were adopted for grants from Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development as pass-through funding for St. Mary Community Action Agency.
—The council’s official legal journal certification was approved.