By Pauline Masson
Jeannie Guffey, Tri-County Senior Center director, has just completed her first year as a board member on the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging (MEAAA).
MEAAA is the agency that dispenses services for senior citizens in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties.
Although the Pacific senior center receives no monetary assistance from MEAAA, and is the only senior center in Franklin County that receives no funds from the agency, Guffey said there were things to be learned serving on the agency’s board.
The Franklin County Commission appointed Guffey to a three-year term on the board, starting in 2012.
Guffey operates the Tri-County Senior Center with funds from United Way, the city of Pacific and a group of volunteers and local fundraisers.
“It is possible that we would never receive financial assistance from the MEAAA, but all the senior centers are in the same business,” Guffey said. “It’s important for me to be in the mix to see how federal resources and funds are distributed.”
In addition to cooking daily meals for seniors, with the help of volunteers, Guffey studies senior services throughout the region and the needs of seniors.
“We have to look to the future and determine every possibility of how to provide for our future,” she said. “The Franklin County senior centers have one common goal and that is to provide for our seniors.
“We’re grateful to the local groups for their fund raising,” she added.
Pacific entered into a contract with IESE, the city’s waste hauling contractor, to pass through the city’s portion of funds from recycling materials to the senior center. In response to that program, seniors who attend the Pacific center launched a campaign to increase recycling throughout Pacific, which increased funds to the senior center.
Guffey says it’s valuable to Pacific seniors for her to serve on the MEAAA board.
“Serving on that board and attending those meetings is part of a larger review of the federal funds that flow into our area for seniors,” she said.