Upgrades coming for Oxford Senior Center05/30/2023 03:07PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Upgrades are coming for the Oxford Area Senior Center, and more than $14,000 in state funding will make the capital improvements and renovations possible.
State Sen. Carolyn Comitta announced that the Oxford Senior Center project will be one of 48 senior community centers statewide receiving a combined $2 million in funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging 2022-23 Senior Community Center grants.
“Our senior centers offer a variety of important services to help our older friends, neighbors, and loved ones stay happy, healthy, productive, and empowered in their golden years,” said Comitta, who serves on the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. “These investments will help them continue to deliver vital programs and resources to the older adult community.”
The grants help senior centers support projects, such as updating and modernizing facilities, providing new health and entertainment programs, upgrading technology, and enhancing nutrition services.
“Our Senior Community Centers are pillars in our communities and to the older adults they serve,” said Jason Kavulich, the acting secretary of aging. “Whether it’s a meal, health and wellness activities, or socializing, these centers help our seniors thrive and continue to live independently as they age. Many times, a Senior Community Center may be the only interaction that an older adult has, and we want to make sure that our centers are welcoming, inclusive, and inviting. The projects funded by the Senior Community Center grants will help the recipients enhance the programs and services that are already in place as well as create new opportunities to welcome current visitors and attract new consumers.”
This year marks the return of awarding the grants through a competitive process. During the last two years of the pandemic, when many of Pennsylvania’s senior community centers were struggling, the competition aspect of the grants was suspended and the $2 million in grant money was distributed equally to help all of the centers in the state.
Earlier this year, Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled his first budget proposal, which includes an additional $1 million in Senior Community Center grants that would also create a permanent, non-competitive grant program. Since the competitive grants normally fund larger scale projects, the non-competitive program would allow smaller needs to be met and more Senior Community Centers to benefit.
There are 485 Senior Community Centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, and exercise programs.
Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery help fund these programs. For more information on other services and programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians, visit the Department of Aging’s website.