APACHE When area seniors stepped foot in the Apache Senior Nutrition Center Thursday many were oblivious to the big changes going on behind the scenes.
Senior nutrition center president Ron Roberts was confident, albeit somewhat nervous about how the operation would go Thursday. Charlene Filmsyer and Laura Hix worked tirelessly in the kitchen, hoping enough food would be available for everyone who showed up. Meanwhile, the seniors gathered in the lobby of the building to eat lunch and socialize only noticed the 50 cent increase in requested donations. The first day of the Apache Senior Nutrition Center's new independence was a success.
"Things are going smoothly," Roberts said. "Everything has been turned over and the food is coming out."
The nutrition center split from sponsor Delta Community Action after budget cuts would have forced volunteers to travel to a central kitchen in Medicine Park a 40-mile round trip each day to bring food back to Apache. The math and logistics did not add up and Roberts, along with a new board, decided to go independent and hope for the best. With one day under his belt, Roberts said he can't complain.
"We had a Delta representative come down and they were going to take their food back originally that we had in storage," he said. "They told us yesterday that we can keep it, they won't take it back. We just ordered a bunch of other food to make up for it last week. So now we have that surplus. That's going to be great for us."
The center's independence was due, in part, to a $10,000 ASCOG grant awarded earlier this year. Roberts is continuing to work to ensure additional lines of revenue, including applying for more grants. The center receives a percentage of a cent Caddo County sales tax, which could amount to more than $1,000 a month. Roberts said he's filed paperwork with the federal government to be approved as a non-profit charity, which will give the center sales tax exemption, allowing volunteers to buy food without paying additional taxes on it.