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Community Report: To Save Money, N.H. Nonprofit Cuts Dessert From Meals On Wheels

Chocolate chip cookies in a basket and a broken cookie nearby.
Jelena Zikic
A 'Valley News' story noted that to deal with a deficit around $124,000, the nonprofit Grafton County Senior Citizens Council decided to eliminate dessert from meals delivered to seniors.

Each week, VPR touches base with a local newspaper reporter about a top story from their community. This time, we hear from John Gregg, news editor with the Valley News.

Gregg spoke about a story by Liz Sauchelli, who covers issues pertaining to local senior citizens. Sauchelli recently reported on some seniors in New Hampshire's Grafton County who use the home-delivered food program Meals on Wheels, and how those meals will no longer have dessert.

Read the story from the Valley News here.

According to Sauchelli's report, the nonprofit Grafton County Senior Citizens Council served about 20,000 more meals than budgeted for during the last fiscal year. The meals were through both Meals On Wheels and what are known as "congregate meals," which are served in senior centers themselves.

Though the organization receives money from the state and from the federal government, it still couldn't cover the costs in full; to deal with what ended up being approximately a $124,000 deficit, they decided to cut out dessert from the meals delivered to seniors.

Sauchelli's reporting found one likely cause: more seniors actively using these meal services. New Hampshire, like Vermont, has a large aging population; people increasingly age-in-place, staying in their homes longer throughout their lifetime, and draw upon meal-delivery programs that encourage and support that model.

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