Wheatheart set to obtain $950Ok in federal funds for senior vitamin, outreach applications | Information

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A senior nutrition program in the area is expected to receive nearly $ 1 million in federal and state dollars from Enid’s Regional Aging Agency for projects over the next year.

The Enid Area Agency on Aging’s long-term care agency will allocate a total of $ 954,146 in senior service funding to the Wheatheart Nutrition Project, the agency’s board of trustees approved Wednesday.

Next year, Wheatheart will receive $ 819,129 for its nutrition project and an additional $ 61,905 for its outreach project – a total of 94.48% of the LTCA of Enid’s total funding for Title III external senior services under the Federal Elderly American Act .

Adults over 60 years of age must have access to these services listed in Title III, such as nutrition, legal aid and transport.

Ruth Stubblefield, executive director of LTCA, said nutrition is seen as the greatest need for seniors, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in service providers closing their congregated eating areas for health security reasons.

According to Stubblefield, the senior catering programs, including Wheatheart’s, have instead been geared towards home delivery or service delivery.

The Blackwell-based nonprofit serves hot meals to seniors five days a week in an eight-county area, and also provides local deliveries and nutritional advice and education. His website lists 16 websites for meals in Northern Oklahoma.

Wheatheart has also received most of the agency’s most recent COVID bailout funds, which originally began in April 2020, Stubblefield said.

“(Nutrition) was probably our top priority in the 14 months that led to this discussion,” she said later Thursday.

LTCA staff earlier this year allocated $ 73,112 in funding Wheatheart received under the COVID Relief Consolidated Appropriations Act to buy only frozen and shelf-stable foods, Stubblefield said on Wednesday.

LCTA then reimbursed the nonprofit for the reported monthly expenses of COVID.

These funds will be available during the fiscal year but may be extended through September 30, Stubblefield said.

“The sweet thing is that there wasn’t a match – that the project that got it didn’t have to contribute dollars for it,” she said.

Stubblefield said each of these previous packages – the Declaration of Major Disasters, the Family First Act, and the CARES Act – also included massive grants for senior nutrition services that went to Wheatheart.

Stubbefield quote

“(Nutrition) was probably our top priority in the 14 months that led to this discussion.”

~ Ruth Stubbefield, General Manager of LCTA Enid AAA

Stubblefield said the agency expects more COVID relief funding from the American Rescue Act in the coming months.

Those funds are likely to be re-allocated to proposed nutrition, nursing and health prevention services, she said.

“This has been the most blessed but also the most challenging year with all of the additional funding flows that we have offset,” she said.

The Board members also approved the deferral of other CAA funds of $ 16,330 for administrative expenses until the next fiscal year. LTCA has to pay 25% of agency funding, or $ 5,443, to receive the funds, Stubbefield said.

She said staff learned of the grant option in February but that month’s board meeting was canceled.

The LTCA Board of Trustees heard and approved the agency’s various funding updates and requests on Wednesday for the first time in nine months after the last meeting on September 16, 2020.

Each year, the 10 regional aging agencies in Oklahoma, including Enid’s, allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Older Americans Act to local programs that provide regular services such as nutrition, legal assistance, transportation, home repair, health prevention, and home help for repair compliance and care.

The remainder of next year’s $ 1,009,884 total non-welfare funding was allocated to local programs including Wheatheart, Enid’s RSVP, three rural transportation systems in the area, Rural Health Projects Inc., and Legal Aid of Oklahoma.

“It might seem like a small need to some people, but for an older person with a steady, limited income, fixing that move is a big deal,” said Stubblefield.

Neither program had submitted applications to Enid for the $ 107,953 allocated for care services that year, so AAA re-filed a direct benefit waiver that would redirect the funds internally to the state’s Department of Human Services, she said.

The waiver, which the LCTA has filed every year since 2013, has yet to be approved, Stubblefield said.