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Meals on Wheels

October 22, 2009 - Steve Murch
Story in today's edition of The News, and online (link to the right), about the Alpena County Meals on Wheels leaves hoping there isn't any bad blood or fallout in the community when there shouldn't be. Thunder Bay Transportation's decision to withdraw its services was strictly based on economics.

According to Billi Edmonds, CFO for Prell Services, the state and federal funding TBT receives was cut and Prell Services, which runs TBT would have had absorb the additional cost. Grace Marshall, Alpena Senior Citizens Center executive director, said she had no issues with TBT and complimented it on the quality of service.

Marshall said the senior center could offer the same service at a lower cost. Thankfully, that means the program can continue. Losing the service entirely would be devastating to those seniors who are unable to leave their house for meals. We don't have to worry about that.

Where my worry comes from was that Edmonds said the company's relationship with the senior center has deteriorate. "We're not wanted there," she said in Thursday's story.

"Any time one of my programs is threatened I get pretty bristly,” Marshall said. “And when (Edmonds) came in to sit down I think both of us were probably a little bit bristly. I mean, they don't want to see $42,000 taken out of their budget either.”

Even though TBT won't be handling the Meals on Wheels after the end of the year, this is a small community. The interaction and need for cooperation still will be there and hopefully this is just a case of, as Marshall put it, two people who were a bit bristly when they met.


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