The East Feliciana Council on Aging has kicked off its annual fund drive for its Adopt-an-Elderly program.

“With the holiday season upon us and the spirit of giving that comes with it, I’m making an appeal to East Feliciana businesses, churches, civic organizations and residents to reach out to senior citizens in our parish,” Council on Aging Executive Director Brenda Gardner said.

The East Feliciana Council on Aging, part of the Capital Area Agency on Aging, depends on funds generated through the elderly program.

“We currently have 64 clients on the home delivery meals waiting list,” Gardner said.

“With the increase in meal costs and budget cuts that all Councils on Aging are facing, it’s imperative we receive community support.”

Gardner said the meals served to senior citizens in the parish comply with the dietary guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The cost of meals for one elderly person for one year is $1,800.

“We would accept any amount, though. Any monetary donation would help and be greatly appreciated,” Gardner said.

The council’s mission is to assist the elderly in achieving independent, meaningful and dignified lives in their homes and in their communities as long as possible, Gardner said, delaying the need for long-term care.

“We believe older folks who are able to remain in their homes thanks to community support maintain a sense of independence and vitality and remain close with family and friends,” Gardner added.

The East Feliciana Council on Aging provides assistance through programs such as home-delivered meals, congregate meals, nutrition education, wellness, transportation services, material aid, a medical loan closet and utility assistance.

Each of the services are considered a separate unit and cost, and according to Gardner, a total of 37,742 services were provided to senior citizens in East Feliciana Parish for the fiscal year.

“With the elderly population continuing to grow and operating expenses constantly increasing, the agency must seek public donations to supplement much-needed services,” Gardner said.

“I’m encouraging private and public entities to support the Council on Aging by sending a donation.” The director says every contribution is valuable and will make a significant impact on the elderly.

“Please consider providing a meal to those less fortunate,” Gardner said. “I believe we can achieve success together by reaching out to those in need.”

Contributions are tax deductible and can be mailed to the East Feliciana Council on Aging, P.O. Box 986, Clinton, LA 70722.

For information, call Gardner at (225) 683-9862 or email efelcoadir@bellsouth.net.