There was a time when two agencies established to maintain the welfare of Marceline’s senior citizens operated independent of one another. However, since the late 1970s, the Marceline Housing Authority and the Marceline Nutrition Site have worked together closely to ensure that the community’s seniors have access to affordable housing and meals. The close proximity of the Housing Authority’s Cedarbrooke Square Apartments to the Nutrition Center has also reduced obstacles between the two facilities, particularly for senior citizens with mobility issues.
Now, as Marceline’s population of seniors has grown, and will continue to grow as baby boomers join their ranks, there is a need to expand the space available in the Nutrition Center’s Dining Hall. Meeting this need is particularly critical for seniors in wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers who need more space to navigate within the Nutrition Site‘s Dining Hall.
Over the past couple of years, Nutrition Site Administrator Gaye Bell and Housing Authority Executive Director Joy Edgar have been awaiting word on the release of grant funds that will be used to expand the Nutrition Site Dining Hall. With the support of the City of Marceline, the two agencies have contracted with the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission to have the grant application written. The $356,940 the two agencies and the City of Marceline received through the recent award of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will expand the Dining Hall area by 1,200 square feet to 2,200 square feet; the current Dining Hall area is 960 square feet.
To accept the CDBG, the Nutrition Site must provide a local match in the amount of $106,347. As this local match had to be paid ‘up front’ to receive the $356,940 in grant funds, the Marceline Nutrition Site has had to deplete its cash on hand and will be organizing fundraisers and accepting donations to rebuild its bank balance. One fundraiser will involve selling bricks inscribed with the donor’s name for $100 each. Meanwhile, seniors who frequent the Nutrition Site to benefit from its nutritionally balanced meals and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle will able to do so in a more spacious facility. The extra space will also allow the presentation of more than one program or participation in more than one recreational activity at a time.
Construction of the expanded Dining Hall, which will be performed by Schlack Construction of Fulton, should begin as soon as weather permits and conclude later this summer. While the architectural design will be provided by John Moore with the Architect’s Alliance of Jefferson City, engineering services will be provided by Allstate Consultants of Marceline.