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Lack of workers threatens Roanoke meal program

Lack of workers jeopardizes Roanoke meal program

For years the Roanoke Senior Center, with funding from Easterseals Alabama, has provided daily hot meals to disabled or senior citizens in Roanoke at no cost to those receiving the meals.

But due to a lack of workers, that service may be in jeopardy.

“For some people these are the only hot meals that they get,” said Roanoke mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks. “This service is absolutely vital to this community.”

The center distributes over 50 meals per day during the week, with over 40 of those going to the homes of people who are unable to get to the Senior Center on a consistent basis.

The center has been pulling city employees from other departments in order to satisfy its staffing needs, but that is not a viable long-term solution. The snag in hiring has not been for a lack of willing workers, but rather for a lack of qualified workers.

Easterseals has reserved the positions for people they deem most in need of employment, so anyone who applies must:

  • Be 55 years old or older
  • Experience barriers to employment
  • Have limited or low income
  • Be unemployed but have a strong desire to return to work

Roanoke’s meal program has two open positions, one for work preparing meals at the Senior Center and one for driving around town and distributing the meals to those who are homebound. The hours for these jobs are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anyone who qualifies for these positions can call Frankie Thomas at Easterseals Alabama at 334-288-0240 or visit Eastersealscentralalabama.org and look for the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

Roanoke resident Sallie Finch receives a meal delivery from City of Roanoke employee Jay Brown. The Roanoke Senior Center’s meal program is in need of full-time staff members in order to keep the program running smoothly.

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