Some three dozen of Minnesota's 502 congregate dining facilities for seniors...including a facility in Lewiston...are closing next week, the victim of federal budget cuts.
The sites aren't bringing in enough people to stay open. Most of those closing are in Greater Minnesota.
Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging, says providers have made alternative arrangements for seniors, including converting many to home-delivered meals. But she says closing a site is always hard and it takes time for folks to adjust.
In southeastern Minnesota, four senior congregate dining sites will close on December 31st, including the site in Lewiston and a site in Houston. But many of those who use the sites have been converted to home-delivered meals. The Rollingstone site is not on the closing list.
Minnesota got 6.9 million dollars last year under the Older Americans Act, which funds senior programs including congregate and home-delivered meals, and other programs. That money was cut by nearly $500,000, about 7 percent, forcing regional agencies that distribute the money to close sites with declining populations.