BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) – Fifty years ago this month, President Richard Nixon signed into law an amended version of the Older Americans Act that included a national nutrition program for seniors over the age of 60. The legislation not only provided funding, but paved the way for programs across Southern West Virginia that prevent seniors from going hungry.
The Raleigh County Commission on Aging celebrated the anniversary with a lunch with seniors and local dignitaries on Thursday, including former Beckley Mayor Bill O’Brien.
“Those of us who aren’t cookers can come here and eat and have a wonderful experience everyday,” said O’Brien, praising the hard work of the staff.
Crews at the Commission on Aging start work each day at 6 a.m., preparing and delivering 180 meals for those who are home-bound. Then, work starts to prepare food for the 40-50 people who come to pick-up. Lastly, lunch is served in the main dining room for those who also enjoy the social hour.
“You’ve got the volunteers, the staff, the cooks, there are so many people who work so hard to make this happen,” said O’Brien.
The commission receives federal funding for the program each year, but counts on support from the community too.
“If it wasn’t for different community organizations like the Untied Way and county commission, we would not be able to pay for everything that comes out of here,” said Assistant Dir. Tammy Trent.
Trent said for many of the people they serve, it’s not just a meal — it’s a lifeline to the outside world.
“Some people have no families. We are their family.”
To learn more, visit Raleigh County Commission On Aging | Beckley WV (raleighseniors.org)
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