City Council: Senior Center to operate Meals on Wheels program

April 01, 2016
Santa Paula News

The City of Santa Paula’s Senior Center will now be operating the Meals on Wheels program after an agreement was approved by the City Council at the March 21 meeting. 

The program, which for 39 years has delivered meals to homebound seniors, had been operated for years by CASP (Community Assistance Santa Paula) AIM.

City Manager Jaime Fontes said city staff as well as the Ventura County Area on Aging and Marleen Canniff deserve “kudos…they deserve credit for absorbing,” the program.

Interim Recreation Director Ed Mount also thanked staff and noted, “AIM has been doing this for many years, but the Ashbys,” Duane and his wife Kathy who led the MOW program, “are moving to Texas…there was no one else that would pick up the MOW program and support it.”

The Recreation Department already works with the county on its in-house meals program at the Senior Center and the city was able to roll MOW into their annual application for funding.

“We spoke to other cities about how it works out for them,” and Mount said the city was not only able to cover the funding gap but also receive a small grant for the city’s MOW startup.

“It’s a really good program and our staff is on board,” to operate MOW and outreach for volunteer drivers.

All in all, Mount estimated MOW would require about 10 hours of staff time weekly.

Each day Meals on Wheels serves 23 homebound seniors; each recipient is asked for a  $3 donation to help sustain the program but noted Mount, “Nobody is turned away if they can’t afford it…”

City Councilwoman Ginger Gherardi noted residents “used to have an opportunity to make a donation,” to Meals on Wheels on their monthly utility service.

For years MOW did receive such funding by requesting $2 per month be donated via the city’s water and wastewater billing.

Later, Interim Public Works Director Brian Yanez told the council, three more charities were included at the behest of a former city council but he said he is unaware of the status of the program.

“Could we do that again if we have a way to collect voluntary donations? That would be great,” said Gherardi who asked that the issue be explored.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.