East Feliciana Council on Aging is fighting for tax dollars to feed more senior citizens
POSTED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 6:04pm
CLINTON, LA (NBC33) — Budget cuts could cause some senior citizens in East Feliciana parish to go hungry. Now the East Feliciana Parish Council on Aging is fighting for tax dollars so it can continue serving seniors through "Meals on Wheels".
Mary Thomas and her husband have been relying on the Council on Aging's "Meals on Wheels" program for the past 2 years. Thomas is unable to cook her own food, so she said she needs this program.
"Well I feel bad because I'd have to get up and see what I can do in the kitchen," Thomas said. "It's helps us whole lot. I love the food they bring me. It really be good food."
Brenda Gardner has been working 32 years to provide services for the elderly of East Feliciana. Recently, she went to the parish to propose an extra tax so they could continue to feed senior citizens, but she was denied from putting it on the ballet.
"We have not a penny to serve not one other senior. Matter for fact, instead of serving other seniors, we're having to deny services when people call in for assistance," Gardner said. "But my problem is, it's really, really hard to tell people that you can serve them. They're afraid the parish could lose the tax money that comes in from the railroads and maybe a barge company that is kind of domicile in East Feliciana Parish."
There are nearly 4,000 senior citizens in East Feliciana Parish, and the Council can only serves 10% of them, but now, it's even less.
"I have 55 on my waiting list, and the list continues to grow. These are people that desperately need services, and I know that other parishes provide tax money for Council on Aging and we really need to step up to the plate and help the seniors in this parish," Gardner said. "I'm not going to lay down and roll over because I feel like I'm not doing my job if I don't get out and fight for the seniors of this parish."
Last year, the council provided nearly 42,000 units of service to the elderly, including transportation. In case you're wondering, we're told the one mill tax the council wants the police jury to put before voters would cost the average East Feliciana tax-payer $5 a year.