Aging council kicks off campaign for kitchen expansion

May 22, 2014
Seniors socialize in the OCCOA dining room just before lunch.

Seniors socialize in the OCCOA dining room just before lunch. Delicious, homemade meals are served daily to a roomful of senior citizens from a tiny kitchen. OCCOA has launched a campaign to raise funds to expand its kitchen.

HART – The Oceana County Council on Aging (OCCOA) is kicking off a capital campaign to expand and renovate its kitchen.

OCCOA serves 70 meals a day for senior citizens and provides education, seminars,

Laura Hintz, kitchen assistant at the Oceana County Council on Aging, prepares fresh salads to be served to seniors. Delicious, homemade meals are served daily to a roomful of senior citizens from a tiny kitchen. OCCOA has launched a campaign to raise funds to expand its kitchen.

Laura Hintz, kitchen assistant at the Oceana County Council on Aging, prepares fresh salads to be served to seniors.

activities, health clinics, fitness classes and socialization activities.

“We are not able to accommodate Oceana’s increasing older population,” states an OCCOA

press release. “We need more room.”

The projected renovation cost is $305,000. So far, $10,685 has been raised, including donations from individuals who have committed $1,000 or more toward the expansion.

The building expansion includes additional kitchen space, storage and a larger multi-purpose room.

OCCOA is asking for donations of any dollar amount.

According to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Policy Priorities for 2014, over the next 20 years, the proportion of the U.S. population over age 60 will dramatically increase, as 77 million baby boomers reach traditional retirement age. By 2030 (in just 16 years), more than 70

OCCOA Food Service Coordinator Lydia Vandezande gets food ready to go to the seniors.

OCCOA Food Service Coordinator Lydia Vandezande gets food ready to go to the seniors.

million Americans will be 65 and older – twice the number in 2000. At that point, older Americans will comprise nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, representing one in every five Americans.

Since 1971, OCCOA has followed a mission of “promoting and safeguarding the independence and well-being of individuals 60 years of age and older by providing services, information and support to the residents of the county.

“Aging is a deeply personal and individual journey. OCCOA has endeavored to make each person we serve feel special and one of a kind,” the press release states.

In 2013, OCCOA served 12,306 meals to the seniors of Oceana County at the Center in Hart. Meals are prepared fresh and homemade Monday through Friday.

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