Oklahoma State Representative Todd Russ Comments on Senior Nutrition Center Funding

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, recently commented on funding for senior nutrition sites throughout Oklahoma.

“In light of the exceptionally good financial condition of the state and the generous appropriation by the Legislature this year to the Department of Human Services, as well as additional pandemic relief funding, I was expecting a great report of adequate funding for our senior nutrition centers this year.

“In talking with several directors of these centers, however, I was surprised to hear they are still experiencing a problem with funding to match community needs. I’ve worked on this issue with DHS for a number of years. They’ve given me their word they will work with the three agencies that oversee the coordination of these programs and will review all financials and let me know their findings.”

In his comments, sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations in a legislative press release, Rep. Russ said he’s not pointing fingers, he just wants to make sure the senior nutrition centers get appropriated dollars given by the Legislature to feed people that rely on them for daily nutrition.

“These centers are vital to our senior population, not just for meals but also for the social interaction they provide” Russ said. “We will get to the bottom of this and make sure these programs get appropriate funding.”

According to the Department of Human Services (DHS) Fiscal Year 2020 annual report: Statewide, 184 meal sites provided congregate meals to older adults in environments that encouraged social engagement, health and wellness activities and meaningful volunteer roles for older adults. 

In addition, federal funding through the Older Americans Act provided home delivery of meals directly to participants’ homes. Through March 2020, 1,732,506 were delivered through congregate sites or to homes.

Note: State Rep. Todd Russ represents District 55 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes Roger Mills and Washita counties and parts of Beckham,  Greer and Kiowa counties.