In response to the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) budget-induced reductions in senior feeding programs, Sen. Dan Newberry this spring began working with a coalition of pastors and community leaders in his district to replace the program with new, privately funded centers at Glenpool Faith Church and the Glenpool Community Center. The 25:40 Coalition is now serving 40 meals per day, five days a week at a cost of $2 per meal. Comparatively, DHS spent $115,550 to serve 23 meals per day in 2009 at the Redbud Village Senior Center in Glenpool.
Newberry on Wednesday thanked Church leaders, volunteers and community partners for their efforts and dedication.
“I’m tremendously proud of the program we have been able to put together,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “The response to an important need in our senior community has been tremendous. I’ve always felt that the community must carry out the biblical mandate to feed the hungry and serve the poor, and I’m pleased that a private coalition is feeding more seniors at a lower cost than the previous government program.”
Newberry noted that the 25:40 Coalition depends solely on volunteer workers and donations. The coalition coordinates with local restaurants to serve more than 1,000 meals a month to area seniors.
Pastor Toby Youngblood of Faith Church in Glenpool said his congregation felt compelled to step in where the government stepped out.
“When Senator Newberry contacted us about the cuts to the senior meal program, as a pastor, I was deeply concerned,” he said. “Had it not been for his interest in communicating this need to us, we believe that many of these people would still be going hungry. We are thankful we can partner together with him to meet the needs of our community.”