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Glendale / Burbank Focus

GLENDALE : Fund-Raisers to Aid Lunch Program

September 24, 1993|TOMMY LI

Faced with a $10,000 cut this year in funding for free lunch support services for the elderly, Glendale city officials for the first time are resorting to fund-raisers in hopes of recouping the loss.

The city's senior nutritional meals and support services program has mainly been funded by the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging, said Michele Blanche, the program's supervisor. A small portion of funds come from the city, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private donations.

But the county's budget crisis for the 1993-94 fiscal year forced the agency to reduce the program's budget this year from $262,660 to $252,529, Blanche said.

Although nearly half the difference was made up by laying off an office assistant, the program still lost 2,000 of the 80,000 meals it provides annually to 1,300 senior citizens in Glendale, she said. To bring services back to the same level as last year, Blanche decided to seek public help in raising $6,000. The first step will be a dinner/dance on Sunday at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.

"We'd like to raise at least $1,500 at this dance," Blanche said Thursday. "We have over 200 people right now. We're taking reservations up to 4:30 tomorrow afternoon."

Despite the tight economy, the response has been positive.

"A lot of people have called and said we'd really like to help," Blanche said.

More fund-raisers are in the works. But if they are not successful, city officials will have to consider other cutbacks to make up for the rising costs in meal service, Blanche said.

"We would reduce everything else first before we reduce meals," she said.

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