I am writing with concern about misperceptions that have resulted from your June 7 article "Meal Delivery to the Elderly to Be Cut Back."
The article's initial statement that funding cuts are prompting the change to Allegheny County's home-delivered meal program is incorrect. As the article later mentions, the changes that are taking place on July 1 are a direct result of Lutheran Services Society's very recent decision to withdraw as a county provider on that date. In a relatively short timeframe, the Area Agency on Aging collaborated with four of its provider agencies -- Lifespan, Northern Area Multi Service Center, Eastern Area Adult Services and Hill House -- to re-evaluate the program and develop a new, more sustainable regional delivery model.
Counter to the concerns of the individual quoted in the article, it's important to note that older adults currently served by the program who are in need of a meal or personal contact will not experience any reduction in services. In fact, one benefit of the new system is that it includes trained staff drivers who can provide consistent observation of the individuals whom the program serves.
Anyone with questions regarding the program, or who knows someone who can benefit from county services, is encouraged to call the Allegheny County Senior Line at 412-350-5460.
Allegheny County Department of Human Services/Area Agency on Aging