12th Open House :: Why A Food Drive?


Why a Food Drive?

IT'S SIMPLE: Giving is in our nature.    We give our time, knowledge, and experience to help people achieve big goals. We do this by teaching the lessons learned through martial arts training. We give our energy and enthusiasm to help others in need. Many seniors in our community need help. And, we want them to have a brighter holiday season with the gift of food. That's it.


A WORTHY CAUSE.    The Senior Nutrition Program provides hot, healthy meals for senior citizens throughout our community.


SENIORS NEED HELP.    Some seniors have no family in the area, many are living on restricted incomes month-to-month, and the SNP is operating on a reduced budget from where it was just a few years ago.


Here are a few sobering details about many seniors in our community who need assistance provided by Mount Shasta City Park Administrative Assistant Cindy Smith and former Coordinator for the SNP:

On a more positive note, Smith shares that “socialization is an important addition to our congregate services. One very ‘young-at-heart’ senior who just celebrated his 103rd birthday comes regularly for bingo.“

“The meal site is a welcome alternative for seniors who have recently lost a spouse and come for a nutritious meal, support, and friendly conversation,” she adds. “Many of our current homebound seniors have individually benefited from the meal services for 10 or more years which has assisted them to remain in their homes rather than transitioning to care facilities.”

BUDGET CUTS.   Operated by the Mount Shasta Recreation & Parks District since 1974, today the SNP faces significant challenges as it continues offering much needed services for many seniors relying upon these meals as their primary — and sometimes only — nutritional intake.

HOW MANY PEOPLE?    “We serve approximately 15 to 30 seniors at the Mount Shasta site, depending on the day of the week,” said Smith. “We also have a solid group of about 16 seniors who receive a meal at the Dunsmuir Community Center on Wednesday. And, despite our budget reduction, we still ensure meals are delivered Tuesday thru Friday to our homebound client base that is hovering around 40 seniors right now.”

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What Type of Food?

The Senior Nutrition Program accepts shelf-stable, non-perishable food donations. Packaged food items that can easily be opened and be prepared in a saucepan are best. This includes:

Canned Food

Some items will be used for meals prepared in the kitchen at City Park; other items will be packaged into home deliveries; and, the remaining items will be given to seniors upon request.

“The gift of shelf-stable food items are always beneficial since many of our seniors have limited means to meet everyday expenses,” Smith says.

NOTE: The Senior Nutrition Program cannot accept any pull-dated canned or dry goods. Please read the labels on the packaging.


Even the simplest food items can make a big difference in the lives of many seniors throughout the holidays and year-round.

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How to do more

Smith said the community can help at anytime. Two substantial ways to help include:

Give some money.

Volunteer some time & skills.

HOW MUCH MONEY?    “Cash and food donations are always appreciated throughout the year,” said Smith. “For a congregate meal, the suggested donation is $3 or $12/week. The suggested donation for a home-delivered meal is $3.50 or $17.50/week. This suggested donation covers about one-third of the actual meal cost.”

HOW TO VOLUNTEER.    “Volunteers can also help with special luncheons or just to offer ‘helping hands’ with meal preparation and easy kitchen tasks,” added Smith.

Smith stresses that the Senior Nutrition Program has “an on-going need to bring in a significant amount of additional matching funds to support the budget and current level of services. It’s also important for the senior community in our area to take advantage of these senior services as the continuation of funding is determined by the levels of participation we report to the state and federal government.”

“Federal and State funding does not adequately support operating expenses and many seniors are having difficulty making a contribution for their meals,” adds Smith. “A yearly match of $35,000+ in outside donations must be generated annually to sustain current services.”

Donations to the Senior Nutrition Program can be tax-deductible depending upon an individual’s or family’s specific tax situation. Make checks payable to “Mount Shasta Recreation District - Senior Program.”

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About the SNP

“Since 1974 the Mt. Shasta Senior Nutrition Program has provided a daily meal for senior citizens at the City Park Recreation Center/Senior Dining Center. On July 1st, 2019 Great Northern Services took over the administration and management of the program under contract with the Planning and Service Area 2, Area Agency on Aging and the California Department of Aging.”

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