WALTERS, OK (KSWO) -The senior nutrition center in Walters, which was slated to close at the end of the month because of lack of participation, was granted a temporary reprieve that will allow the site to stay open through June.
The meals at the Walters site are actually supplied by the site in Temple, and they have reversed their decision to stop providing those meals. However, the bigger problem remains unsolved, how to get the average number of daily meals above 25 in order to qualify for state and federal funding.
They have already found out that just a little bit of publicity helps. The center says after our story last week, they have gotten about half a dozen phone calls from area seniors interested in getting meals. They plan to build on that momentum by going to church meetings and putting out advertisements.
Since last week, they have already seen their numbers increase from 18 people to 24 people.
Gerald Hayes, one of the people who eats at the center, says he is enthusiastic about the response they have gotten so far, but they are asking for the community's continued support.
"Looks like the numbers are up good today. We are putting ads in the newspaper, contacting all of the civic organizations to help us. We contacted the City of Walters and people are interested! We got some new people today," Hayes said.
Hayes says if they can keep the number of participants high, he believes they will have a good chance at getting continued funding.
"The City of Temple and us, we are going to work it out. We are going to make it work. I think they are trying to help us. They are taking it before their town board, but I am sure it will be approved if it's approved by ASCOG," Hayes said.
Hayes says neighbors talking to neighbors to get the word out is their best asset.
"The people who don't realize it's here. That don't realize the program is available. We're going to make it known to them," he said.
City officials from Temple still have to speak with the director of the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments to get official permission to remain open past Feb. 1.