Grovetown officials are set to consider switching meal providers to their senior center at Monday's city council meeting.
City councilman Dick Manion, who has led the effort to improve the quality of meals served at the Grovetown Senior Center, said the council will consider purchasing most of the 35 to 40 weekday lunches it serves from the Columbia County Detention Center. City officials and patrons of the senior center have complained about the quality of hot lunches it currently receives from Florida-based GA Foods, Inc.
If the switch takes place, the city stands to lose the $37,000 grant it receives from the Area Agency on Aging to supplement the $44,000 per year cost of the current senior meal program. Meals from the jail would not meet certain state and federal nutritional guidelines necessary to retain the grant, agency officials have said.
GA Foods, the agency's contracted provider, currently meets those standards.
If city leaders approve the switch, meals through the jail would begin in February and cost the city $2.10 each, or about $27,800 per year. Manion said some seniors with certain dietary restrictions might remain on meals that meet Area Agency for Aging requirements, which might allow the city to keep part of its grant.
City leaders recently asked Columbia County commissioners to help the city defray the cost of providing meals through the jail. On Tuesday, commissioners approved an agreement to donate a surplus nine-passenger van to Grovetown to help the city shuttle seniors and transport meals.
"It's kind of a trade-off," Manion said of the agreement, which also sends a surplus 12-passenger van to the city of Harlem. He said the cities have talked about using the vans together when needed during senior trips or events.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.