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York County senior centers get boost from grants

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

Four senior centers located in York County got boosts  from recent grants awarded by the state. 

Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf gave 60 senior centers across Pennsylvania grants totaling $2 million to bolster existing programs and modernize older facilities.

Volunteers Beverly Rice, left, and Pam Melton roll lunches to a pick-up area during the South Central York County Senior Center's lunch drive-thru Monday, June 29, 2020. The center was one of four senior centers located in York County to get boosts to their funding from recent grants awarded by the state. The center is continuing its lunch program on a drive-thru basis during the pandemic. Bill Kalina photo

Windy Hill Senior Center, Red Land Senior Center, South Central York County Senior Center and the Crispus Attucks Active Living Center received grants of $22,026; $8,090; $7,220; and $20,390, respectively. 

"The grants will empower these centers to make their desired changes to further benefit regular attendees while attracting a new generation of participants,” Wolf said in a news release.

As facilities around the state continue to reopen, the grants awarded to senior centers will help fund new projects and provide much-needed health and entertainment programs, the release states.

One senior center in York County that received grant money was recently threatened with permanent closure because of financial instability. With a reprieve from the New Freedom Borough Council, the South Central York County Senior Center had its rent and utility payments waived for part of 2019.

More:New Freedom senior center rebounds from financial instability

As the reprieve ended Dec. 31, the senior center is again paying rent. But officials said the once cash-strapped senior center has since rebounded.

Volunteer Beverly Rice pulls a meal while Deb Thornton tallies participants during the South Central York County Senior Center's lunch drive-thru Monday, June 29, 2020. The center was one of four senior centers located in York County to get boosts to their funding from recent grants awarded by the state. The center is continuing its lunch program on a drive-thru basis during the pandemic. Bill Kalina photo

More than 500 senior community centers in Pennsylvania provide meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial counseling and exercise programs to senior citizens, according to a news release.

Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery go to generating grants for these programs. More than $30 billion from the Pennsylvania Lottery has gone toward property tax and rent rebates, prescription assistance and home-delivered meals, the release states.

“These projects will make a positive impact for the senior community centers receiving the grants and the older adults they serve," said Aging Secretary Robert Torres.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.