Breckenridge Texan

Stephens Memorial Hospital seeking donations for its new Adopt-a-Senior program

Stephens Memorial Hospital seeking donations for its new Adopt-a-Senior program
September 23
18:59 2020

By Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Stephens Memorial Hospital is seeking support from the community for its new Adopt-a-Senior program to help fund the Senior Meals project that the hospital took on when the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center closed earlier this year.

SMH was already preparing meals for local homebound senior citizens for the Meals on Wheels program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it took on the preparation on Mondays, Wednesdays Fridays in June after the City of Breckenridge closed down the Senior Citizens Center. Now, the hospital’s dietary department prepares 300 or more meals a week to be delivered five days a week.

“We’re currently seeking donations and different funding sources to pay for those meals for the homebound seniors,” said Chris Curtis, director of business development for SMH. “We’re also pursuing some grants and things like that, but the Adopt-a-Senior program will help us make sure that the Senior Meal program is sustainable in the interim until we are able to secure grant funding.”

The cost to provide the meals three times a week through the Senior Meals program for an entire year is $625 per person, Curtis said in a news release. Donors can choose to support a full year of meals or make a smaller donation that will help offset the cost of the meals. Those paying for the full year ($625) can make one annual payment or send in monthly payments.

Checks can be made out to Stephens Memorial Hospital and mailed to 200 S Geneva St. Breckenridge, TX 76424. For more information about the program, call Curtis or Sarah Shumate at 254-559-2241.

In addition to donations, SMH is also looking for help delivering the meals. The routes generally take less than 30 minutes to deliver and is a very rewarding activity, Curtis said.

According to the news release, Jenny Coffee with Coffee State Farm recently said, “When the Rotary Club took on a month of delivering meals, I was concerned with the amount of time it would take to complete the delivery. That concern was quickly dismissed. The first time I delivered meals I left and was back at my desk in 30 minutes. It is such a rewarding activity. Everyone has 30 minutes to spare to help brighten someone else’s day. I encourage everyone to take a turn delivering meals.”

Along with the meals for homebound senior citizens, SMH also is planning to open a Senior Center in a previously unused room of the hospital. Hospital employees have been renovating the area, but state guidelines put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus currently limit visitors to the hospital.

“(The work) is probably 80 percent finished,” Curtis said. “The guys will probably have it finished within a month or so, if not less. But, then, our biggest hurdle after that will be our restrictions. as far as visitors in the hospital.”

Although the new senior center can’t open to the public yet to serve meals on-site, the hospital does offer curbside service to those seniors who want to purchase a meal to go. “We do have seniors that call and order, and they pull up in front of the hospital and we take it out to them,” Curtis said. “So, we do that for some seniors. We’re also delivering to some people that normally would go to the senior center, but since there’s not one to go to, we’re just taking it to them. So, the list of meals is about double since we took it over.”

Additionally, the delivery area has been expanded slightly to include some addresses a little bit outside the city limits, Curtis said. “So, we’re able to get meals to people who haven’t been able to get them in the past,” he said.

 

Cutline, top photo: Stephens Memorial Hospital is about 80 percent finished with the renovations of a new lunchroom (pictured) and the adjacent senior activity room. However, the center will not be opened to the public until the state lifts restrictions put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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