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Senior center sees surge in service requests, receives grants to serve meals
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The Olivia Haydel Senior Center will be able to feed more seniors thanks to a stimulus grant. The money, about $26,500, will go to 1,780 additional congregational meals, 1,078 home meals and the hiring of an additional staff person for the kitchen, said Director Jackie Lunsford.

The senior center also received a $5,000 grant from Snapping Shoals, EMC's "Operation Round Up" program, which allows customers to round their bill up to the next whole dollar and donate the difference.

The grants come just in time as the center has seen a surge in service requests - about 70 requests in the last 45 days, or three times the normal rate - for everything from tax assistance to help with utility bills to meal services, said Lunsford.

She attributed the numbers to a variety of factors including the aging of baby-boomers, the economy and greater realization of the services that the center offers.