We were glad to see Wheatheart Nutrition Project receive nearly $1 million recently to continue its good work in our area.

Long-Term Care Authority of Enid Area Agency on Aging will allocate a combined $954,146 in federal and state funds intended for senior citizen services to Wheatheart.

The Blackwell-based nonprofit serves hot meals to seniors five days a week in an eight-county area, and also provides deliveries to homebound people, along with providing nutrition counseling and education. Sixteen meal sites are listed on its website.

Those meals took on greater importance in the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic saw service providers closing their congregate dining areas for health safety concerns. As a result, meal programs for seniors, including Wheatheart’s, were directed to utilize home delivery or carry-out services.

LTCA earlier this year also allocated $73,112 in funds received from the COVID Relief Consolidated Appropriations Act for Wheatheart to purchase frozen and shelf-stable food.

Each year, Oklahoma’s 10 area agencies on aging, including Enid’s, allocate hundreds of thousands of Older Americans Act dollars to local programs, which apply to provide regular services including nutrition, legal aid, transportation, home repair, health prevention and aid, home repair compliance and caregiving.

The rest of next year’s non-caregiving funds, totaling $1,009,884, were allocated to local programs including Wheatheart, RSVP of Enid, three area rural transit systems, Rural Health Projects Inc. and Legal Aid of Oklahoma.

Programs such as Wheartheart are vital for many seniors. The meals provided may be the only food some seniors receive each day.

We think this support provided by LTCA is so necessary to a vulnerable part of our society.

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