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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa
State Capitol Room 411A
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5600

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2010

Sen. Dan Newberry
Sen. Dan Newberry

NEWBERRY ANNOUNCES PRIVATE SOLUTION TO
SENIOR FEEDING PROGRAM CUTS

Churches, Faith Based Leaders Standing in the Gap for Seniors

While many have expressed concern over DHS’s budget-induced reductions in senior feeding programs, Senator Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) has been working with local pastors in his district to step up and fill the need for their local community.

“I’ve been working with a coalition of pastors in my district to replace the shuttered Glenpool senior feeding program with new, privately and faith-based funded centers at Glenpool Faith Church and the Glenpool Community Center,” said Newberry. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the response from these community leaders, and proud of the program they are providing our much-loved senior citizens in south Tulsa County.

“Not only are they meeting the needs of the seniors who participated in the program prior to DHS’s decision to cut the program due to the budget shortfall, but they are serving more people than under the previous government program,” he continued. “This is a classic example of the church living out the biblical mandate to feed the hungry and serve the poor.”

When the Department of Human Services cut funding to the Senior Nutrition Program last fall, Newberry investigated how the cuts would impact his Senate district and found that the program in Glenpool was being closed. Across the state, some programs have been shut, while others have been reduced.

Newberry convened a meeting with several pastors in the area, and a coalition of churches was formed to meet and exceed the services that had been lost.

“These leaders responded to the call without question,” Newberry said. “They recognized an opportunity to serve their community and meet their mandate to care for the needy,

“They realize that in this day of financial challenge for governments and families alike, that government can’t and may never again be in a position to perpetually fund programs such as these,” he continued. “The good news is, the program being offered today is feeding more individuals and meeting more social needs than the state government had.”

The 25:40 Coalition is delivering 30 meals, five days a week in Glenpool and Sapulpa. In addition, fifty meals are served once a month at the Faith Church in Glenpool, and every Thursday, seniors are treated to a hot meal at the Glenpool Community Center, prepared and served by 25:40 Coalition volunteers. Forty volunteers deliver food each week. The 25:40 Coalition coordinates with local restaurants in the area to procure food for meals. In all over 1000 meals a month are served in the area through the Coalition, compared to 23 meals per day -- roughly 500 per month -- under the DHS Senior Nutrition Program.

“Our desire is to grow this program in our area and share the prototype which I hope my colleagues will take into their districts across the state,” Newberry said. “In fact, we’ll be taking this program to Sand Springs in the very near future.

“This type of local initiative is how our communities were built, and getting back to our roots is the answer to meeting the needs of seniors, the needy, and the sick across our state and our nation,” he concluded.

For more information contact:
Sen. Newberry: 405-521-5600

 

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