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Clear Spring gets nutrition site for seniors

October 20, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

CLEAR SPRING -- County and state officials joined about 50 area seniors Tuesday at a ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new site for meals and activities for senior citizens at the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Dept. special events building.

The new site, at 12323 Big Spring Road, serves hot lunches and offers daily activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anyone 60 and older, said Hannah S. Cramer, deputy director of the Washington County Commission on Aging.

The site will also allow the Commission on Aging to extend its Meals on Wheels program to the Clear Spring area, Cramer said. Meals on Wheels is a service that delivers hot, nutritious meals to medically homebound individuals.

The new Clear Spring site is the county's eighth senior nutrition site, Cramer said. Other sites are in Williamsport, Smithsburg, Keedysville, Hancock, and at Francis Murphy Apartments, Walnut Towers and Potomac Towers in Hagerstown.

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Funding to open the Clear Spring site came to the county through the federal stimulus package, Cramer said. Washington County received $31,285 for congregate meal services and $15,402 for home-delivered meal services from the stimulus, she said.

The Clear Spring site has been operating for about a month, Cramer said. It has averaged about five seniors a day visiting the site and has four Meals on Wheels clients, she said. Officials expect those numbers to increase as word of the site spreads, Cramer said.

Maryland's Secretary of Aging, Gloria Lawlah, was at Tuesday's ceremony. She said she was proud to see the funding put to good use and congratulated the Commission on Aging, the program staff, and the county and state officials who worked to support the program.

Clear Spring-area seniors said they were excited to have a senior site close to home.

"We appreciate this because seniors need outlets for their time and their socialization, and they are quite often the forgotten generation," said Myrdell Lancaster, 70, who lives about a mile east of Clear Spring and said she and her husband probably will visit the site a few times a month.

Activities at the site will include coffee and conversation, crafts, singalongs, games, exercise, speakers on health and finance, and help with income taxes, health insurance and benefits, Cramer said.

For more information about the senior site or Meals on Wheels, call the Commission on Aging at 301-790-0275.

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