New Castle News

Closer Look

July 29, 2013

More seniors could be taking advantage of programs

CNHI —

Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania seniors are going hungry even though there are government programs that could be helping them put food on the table. That information comes from the state AARP.
The Pennsylvania chapter of the AARP has launched an effort to use the organization’s volunteers to encourage seniors to apply for food stamps, a government benefit that many seniors spurn, said Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director for the AARP.
The AARP estimates that almost 350,000 seniors in Pennsylvania do not always have enough money to buy food. The organization has first focused its campaign in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, said Johnston-Walsh.
The senior advocacy group plans to take the campaign across the state in 2014, Johnston-Walsh said.
“It’s an issue in the rural areas. It’s an issue across the board,” he said.
Vivian Adams, a senior citizen who was chatting Friday at the Firehouse Marketplace, an antique shop in Selinsgrove, said that she would be unlikely to apply for food stamps even if she qualified.
“I’d always be afraid that I was taking something that someone else needed more,” Adams said.
Johnston-Walsh said the campaign is being launched at a time when many of the safety net social programs intended to help feed seniors are struggling to stay afloat. Those struggles have only become more difficult as sequestration cuts in federal spending have forced many Meals on Wheels programs across the country to keep seniors on waiting lists or reduce the number of days they serve food.
Kristen Mack, director of a Meals on Wheels program in Johnstown that serves about 300 people, said she’s been warned to brace for sequester cuts. Mack said the organization has yet to see any reductions in federal aid, but already the Meals on Wheels effort has had to make changes to cope with rising costs. The Johnstown program still serves five days worth of meals a week, but those meals are only delivered three days a week to save money on gas, Mack said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • First Energy to replace transmission line

    FirstEnergy Corp. has plans to rebuild a power transmission line between the West Pittsburg plant and a Mahoningtown substation.

    April 18, 2014

  • school.jpg Union to return assistant principal post

    The Union Area School District will have a new administrator when the 2014-15 school year starts. The board voted 8-0 Wednesday night to hire an assistant principal. Debra Allebach was absent.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Calen.tiff Callen gets state honors

    Robert Callen has been selected to receive a state award for his contribution to local government in Pennsylvania. Callen, 58, executive director of the Lawrence County Regional Council of Governments, received the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miller.jpg Wilmington superintendent discusses common core

    The Wilmington district has no reason to fear new Pennsylvania Core standards, superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller said. She talked about the standards to approximately two dozen residents at the school board’s monthly pre-meeting Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shreck.tiff Schreck reappointed Shenango superintendent

    Dr. Michael Schreck has been reappointed as Shenango’s superintendent for a five-year term. The school board approved his reappointment by an 8-0 vote Monday. Nicholas Manolis was absent.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Congressional candidate disqualified

    Commonwealth Court has removed a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat from the May 20 primary ballot. Judge Bernard L. McGinley has invalidated the nomination petitions of Mel A. Marin of Sharon.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Shenango passes tax abatement

    Shenango Township supervisors unanimously approved a tax abatement for Blackwatch Properties LLC when they met Thursday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage