McKinneySeniorCenterunderthefire

The players may have changed, but the McKinney Senior Center located within the McKinney Administration at 246 Elm St. is again being dealt a slim hand this year.

As of December 5, McKinney Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will no longer provide daily hot lunches for the McKinney Senior Center. The MRMC Senior Services Director Annice Cameron notified the center in the December letter that her two-year commitment was soon to end and that MRMC had no resources to continue the arrangement. (MRMC’s Senior Services, which runs the Pine Street Senior Center, had volunteered to pick up the tab for meals at the McKinney site after the city’s McKinney Social Help Organization cut funding to both senior centers last year).

John Ferguson, acting director of the McKinney Social Help Organization, said last month that the organization would provide $4,500 in 2016-2017 to fund a part-time site manager at the McKinney Senior Center.

Ferguson also said he was working with other nutrition contractors, such as the Salvation Army, to enlist their aid in providing the McKinney meals at no extra cost to the Senior Services, the organization that currently sponsors the McKinney Senior Center.

According to McKinney Acting Site Manager Diana Johnson, the center needs $25,000 to $40,000— to fund meals, a full-time site manager, and an activities program.

After capturing the attention of Mayor at December Town Hall meeting, senior center members had been hopeful of cutting through the bureaucratic maze and receiving a bailout from Regional Community program, a route that Johnson suggested. However, soon they have discovered that the deadline for applying for a block grant had passed.

Nevertheless, the McKinney seniors say they are not giving up. “We’re going to keep on fighting to save the lunch program”, says Dennis Ambrose, a senior center regular.