|Nov 09, 2011 --
Using a USDA Rural Development Community Facility grant backed by the Recovery Act, the Ossipee Concerned Citizens, Inc. (OCC) will soon be serving up a few more meals to the citizens of Center Ossipee and surrounding communities.
OCC is using the grant partnered with their own funds to purchase and install a new outdoor walk-in refrigerator/ freezer box. The new walk-in refrigerator/freezer box will allow OCC to remove several inefficient and aged refrigeration units.
OCC is located in Center Ossipee, NH and is home to the community’s Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) Program, a Children’s Daycare, and a congregate dining room. Serving over 200 meals daily, the OCC kitchen prepares meals for the daycare, the congregate dining area participants, including the 125 meals-on-wheels meals delivered to Center Ossipee and surrounding community residents. The improvements at OCC will help lower costs in a variety of ways, but as importantly it will create much needed added work space for OCC’s cook, paid staff, and volunteers. Cost savings will quickly be reflected in their grocery costs alone. The refrigerator/freezer unit’s storage capacity will allow them to shop ahead and to take advantage of grocery sales.
The cost of each meal runs around seven and half dollars. This cost factors in the expenses for the food, staff, and utilities. OCC receives funding from NH’s Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services and USDA food programs to cover the majority of each meal, and relies on daily donations by the Senior meals service recipients. When added to the Federal, State and local funding received by OCC the donations can fall short of meeting the full cost of the meal.
This $8,750 grant is small in comparison to the grants and loans being funded with Recovery Act dollars, but in the case of OCC’s needs, this was just the boost they needed to fund the improvements necessary to increase the services they offer, save money, and to improve the workspace. “In fact, OCC would not have seen this project happen now or quite possibly at all without this grant.” said Jim Thompson the OCC Deputy Director.
Through Rural Development’s Community Facility Programs, many organizations have received funding resources to better serve rural America. The Recovery Act dollars allow USDA Rural Development to assist more organizations in meeting their needs, and in turn boost the economy with the employment created by these projects.
As OCC reaches their renovation goal, the project offers short term employment through its contracts. OCC awarded the construction part of the grant to contractor John Thompson. He and his long time assistant, Bob Woodward, fortunately have a stream of projects to keep their business in operation. Reputation and willingness to take smaller jobs, such as the OCC project, assures continued work for the two and once the construction work is complete, a local electrician will come in to complete the electrical hook-up of the installed refrigerator/freezer unit. This is a small example of how the Recovery Act through USDA Rural Development’s programs is working to stimulate the economy. Within weeks of the grant award, individuals began working on the construction aspect of the project, and soon OCC will have a more efficient and streamlined workspace to meet the needs of its clients.