Meals on Wheels to kick off campaign to raise money for expansion

Meals on Wheels (Photo courtesy KSN News)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Senior Services of Wichita kicks off its campaign this weekend to raise $3 million for a huge expansion project.

It includes tripling the size of the kitchen for Meals on Wheels.

Right now, the staff cooks and prepares about 850 meals a day.  Then, volunteers deliver the hot food to homebound seniors.

So far this year, Meals on Wheels has helped 1,300 seniors eat healthy.

“Over 126,000 meals already,” said Sherri Flippo, Social Services Director for Senior Services. “And of course, with our new, large kitchen that’s coming, we’re anticipating many more.”

Up to 3,000 people, including those with special dietary needs.

“We’re going to try to do some choice options so we’re going to be ready for the boomers coming up,” said Flippo.

The construction has already started on the downtown senior center that dates back to the 1940’s and 50’s.

Once modernized and with a new heating and air system, nine other programs will also have more room to help more people.

“Our senior employment program, who saw 1,100 people last year, will get a much larger space in order to serve all of those older job seekers coming through the doors,” said Laurel Alkire, Executive Director of Senior Services.

The price tag for the entire renovation project is $6-million.

Fundraising kicks off Saturday with “A Galaxy of Stars” celebrity roast with Wink Hartman.  Tickets are $125.

Senior Services has already received $3 million in donations from the Dwane and Velma Wallace Foundation, Bill Devore, Georgia Chandler, Cargill, Cindy and Barry Schwan, Dawson Grimsley, Doug Stark and the Grumpy Old Men.

Donations can be dropped off at the downtown senior center at 200 South Walnut.

“We want to be here because our mission is to keep seniors independent and at home for as long as possible,” said Alkire.

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