Created on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 Written by REUBEN MEES
An undisclosed number of people have been laid off work and hundreds of area residents did not receive meals they were counting on Tuesday, but the woman tasked with overseeing Tri County Community Action refused to offer any public comment on what direction the agency is headed or how long the situation may last.
Rebecca Tumblin was named interim director of the agency after the board of directors placed Denise Birt on unpaid administrative leave last week.
Monday, a lack of funding forced the board to cancel the Meals on Wheels service, which delivers meals to about 300 seniors and homebound individuals daily. Senior nutrition sites throughout Logan, Champaign and Shelby counties served by the agency were closed Tuesday and volunteers had no explanation as to what to tell those who arrived.
It was unclear to what extent other programs, such as tax filing assistance, the Home Energy Assistance Program or Transportation Logan County, would be affected.
Ms. Tumblin refused to return telephone calls seeking comment about the public impact and instructed a receptionist at the office to tell an Examiner reporter who went to the Patterson Street office Tuesday afternoon that “she was not available.”
Don Lewis, a volunteer at the Young At Heart Center in Lakeview, said he got a message Tuesday morning from his pastor that the meal was canceled, but went to the center to find three or four patrons waiting.
“They were pretty upset because they depend on that, but they felt worse for the people who get Meals on Wheels because they can’t get out,” Mr. Lewis said. “My pastor sent me a text saying he got a call from CAC that there weren’t going to be any meals today. I went just to see how the ladies were doing with their puzzles and they were there waiting.”
MORE ON THIS STORY HERE: Future of Tri-County Community Action up in air
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