By Lindsay Starr Platt
Kaci Hodges is the new center director at Belton Senior Center. Hodges joined the center in mid-April replacing Elaine Murray who passed away in March. Hodges is originally from Waco and has been a Temple resident for the last 10 years.
“I had been working for Hill Country Community Action at Sammons in Temple,” commented Hodges. “I was the meal coordinator.”
The Belton Senior Center is a collaborative effort of both a board of directors and Hill Country Community Action Assn., Inc. (HCCAA). The board help with activities and running the center and HCCAA helps with providing meals. Meals are provided to both patrons of the senior center and delivered to homebound seniors as well.
“Most of the regulars here, have gotten to know me. I am in charge of meals and energy assistance. I am a social worker for their cases and helping them get money for their electric bills,” said Hodges. “I will submit a pledge for help, they can get help with their bills for three to four months. They can reapply in January for help again. The summer is the crux of seniors needing help with cooling costs.”
Meals at the senior center at very important to patrons. The meals that are eaten together with other seniors all called the congregate meals. The congregate meals are not only important for feeding the hungry but they also “feed the soul” giving seniors the chance to visit and socialize with their friends.
“People often forget about our seniors, when helping in the community. They are usually the last ones thought of for help. They are important and there are going to be a lot of them as the baby boomers are getting older,” remarked Hodges.
Hodges mentioned that all of the meals at the center are healthy and affordable. The suggested donation for meals at the center or delivered is $3.00. The meals are nearly 90% made from scratch and are heart and diabetic healthy.
“We try to use fresh ingredients whenever possible,” stated Hodges.
Any senior citizen that lives in the 76513 zip code is eligible to apply for meals in the delivery program. One meal a day is delivered to homes as well as a visit from the volunteer.
“They look forward to that meal delivery person,” said Hodges. “We always need volunteers to deliver meals or help with activities.”