Iowa's Rodeo of the Year - Leon, Iowa View more videos

Community Comes Together to Save Senior Meal Program in Leon

Filed under "News"
More articles »

Friday, July 1, 2016

Several entities have partnered together, pooling their resources to continue to provide meals for seniors in the Community of Leon. These community partners include Leon’s New Horizons, Inc. (New-2-U), Decatur County Hospital, Decatur County Board of Supervisors, City of Leon, Decatur County Public Health, Decatur County Development Corporation, and the Leon Community Center Board. All of these entities have come together to ensure that our seniors still have a place to go to get healthy meals that taste good, too.

The senior meal program is sponsored by Leon’s New Horizons, Inc., who also sponsors the New-2-U Thrift Store. Decatur County Hospital will be cooking the meals in their kitchen, offering the same menu items they serve in their cafeteria. The menus will be available one month in advance at the meal site, and will be in the newspaper a week at a time like they are currently.

Decatur County Hospital is currently in the process of obtaining elderly waiver status so that seniors on the elderly waiver program do not have to pay for their meals, and plan to be ready to bill for elderly waiver by August 1st. For more information about the elderly waiver program, contact Decatur County Hospital at 641-446-4871.

Meal costs will now be $4.00 for those that are 60 and older, and $6.25 for people under 60. Seniors can pay on a daily basis or they can purchase a "punch card" to be used over a period of time. People need to sign up to eat the day prior by stopping in at the community center between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. or by calling Mildred at 641-446-4433.

“I am amazed at all of the entities that have come together to pull this off,” stated Kolton Hewlett, “The County Board of Supervisors have been tremendous supporters of this initiative. We would not have been able to make this work without all of the organizations and volunteers working together. Our task force had our first meeting two weeks prior, and we were able to put something together in time to serve the seniors of Leon by July 1. It truly proves that although Leon is a small town, we’ve got a big heart.”

The Decatur County Board of Supervisors has agreed to fund up part of the program for fiscal year 2016-17 to support the wages of a part-time staff employed by Leon’s New Horizons, Inc. Additionally, Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa (CHCSI) has committed to a $1,000 contribution to the cause which will be used for immediate necessities such as supplies, etc. The City of Leon will allow the use of the community center building including the costs of all utilities.

Members of the board include Sue Kelly (President), Kolton Hewlett (Secretary/Treasurer), Marcia Stephens, Shelley Bickel (Vice President), Jean Campbell, J.R. Cornett, Jim Fulton, Suzanne Cooner, and Bob Frey.

Many expenses will go along with keeping this program afloat in Leon, including the cost of meals, supplies, and other operating costs.  The board will be actively looking for funding sources through donations and grants. If you are willing to contribute money towards the program, you can send money to:

Leon Community Meal Program
Attn: Kolton Hewlett, Sec/Treasurer
PO Box 281
Leon, IA 50144

Or you can also drop off donations at the New-2-U Thrift Store on the Northwest corner of the square. Also, the program is primarily run by volunteers, with the exception of Mildred Laffoon, who will be handling the serving of food and cleaning of the community center. Volunteers are needed to transport food from the hospital to the community center and delivering meals to home-bound seniors in the community.

If you have any questions regarding the program or the changes that are occurring, contact Sue Kelly at 816-695-9477 or