County to aid DCS meals program

William Nichols

CAMBRIDGE — Members of the Dorchester County Council voted 4-0 on June 2 to fill a need at Delmarva Community Services, Inc. (DCS), which has seen funds cut 60 percent for its senior meals program. DCS President and CEO Santo Grande had asked at the council’s previous meeting for help in feeding the area’s elderly.

About a month ago, DCS learned that the Maryland Department of Aging had reduced funding from $46,228 to $18,523 for meals served at DCS and delivered to homes by the Meals on Wheels service. DCS staff prepares, serves and delivers 300 meals a day as the contracting agency for Maintaining Active Citizens (MAC).

The cuts were announced by the state after DCS’s and the county’s fiscal year budgets were completed. Sources at the Department of Aging said the state was reverting to a previously determined funding formula based on population. The formula, not having been followed in recent years, will send more money to the heavily populated – and wealthier – counties of the western shore.

At the June 2 meeting, County Manager Keith Adkins said office staff had confirmed the dollar amounts of the cuts. Vice President Jay Newcomb (District 1) moved to transfer $20,000 to help cover DCS’s costs.

“Nobody wants to see seniors go hungry,” Council President William Nichols (District 2) said. “If it’s not enough, we’ll put in a little more.”

After learning of the cuts, DCS staff began a fund-raising drive to make up for the loss. It included a concert held June 30, which brought in $4,500 in donations from those who attended.

“They put together a really great show,” Council Member Lenny Pfeffer (District 4) said. “It was a great job by them, bringing together that money at the last minute.”

Council Member Ricky Travers (District 3) was not present.

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