GUELPH, Ontario, November 25, 2009 - Today the City announced that City Council will be considering a long list of cost cutting alternatives to whittle down a projected budgetary deficit of $8.5 million. One cost cutting measure being considered is the possible closure of the dining room facility at the Evergreen Seniors Centre. This facility is currently operated by one permanent city staff member supported on a monthly basis by approximately 40 volunteers from the Association. The Board of Directors of the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association (GWSA) is opposed to this because:
...The Dining Room has a rich tradition of providing nutritional and affordable meals to hundreds of seniors monthly. Delivery service is also available to local shut in seniors.
...The Dining Room also has a rich tradition of providing special dinners at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. These dinners are generally attended by seniors who may not otherwise have these dinners. They are so popular that there are generally 3 sittings.
...The Dining Room also has a long tradition of providing meals for hundreds of socially isolated seniors who participate in the many outreach programs run by the GWSA. These seniors would not generally have access to such meals.
...The Dining Room provides a wonderful opportunity for GWSA members to volunteer by doing food preparation, food service, dishwashing, clean up, etc. This also helps to keep the cost of the meals down.
The Evergreen Seniors Centre is considered to be one of the best centres in Southwestern Ontario. The closure of the Dining Room would be a big step backwards - not exactly a good decision to take in the year when the City will be hosting the annual meeting of the Older Adult Centre’s Association of Ontario.
Finally, the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association does not believe that the closure of the Dining Room at the Evergreen Seniors Centre would be an action that would be taken by a City that wants to make a difference. Further, the cost savings as estimated by the City, are inconsequential when measured against the value of the rich traditions and benefits outlined above.
Should you wish to comment on this please send a message to GWSA webmaster Ken Russell at email@example.com or leave a message at 519-823-1291
Media Contact for more information:
Pierre Desmarais, Guelph Wellington Seniors Association President 519-823-1291