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Senators Request CARES Act Funding for Senior Citizens Centers

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October 30, 2020

A bipartisan group of 14 senators have requested that the CARES Act Steering Committee allocate $20 million in federal relief funding for senior citizens centers across Arkansas.

Senator Gary Stubblefield, speaking for the group, said that senior centers can no longer hold fund raisers and they have lost some grants because the members can no longer congregate under current public health restrictions.

They must pay for personal protective equipment, Stubblefield said, and their vehicles are running longer routes to deliver goods and services to seniors who can no longer come to the centers in person.

“At this critical time, we need to support as many entities as possible that have contributed to the care of our citizens and communities during the coronavirus pandemic,” Stubblefield said in a letter to the committee.

Stubblefield told the steering committee of his concerns about the Paris Senior Center in Logan County, which provides about 170 hot meals a day with its Meals on Wheels program. “They can only do so for one more week,” he said.

“As we approach the Thanksgiving season it is incomprehensible to imagine the elderly, who may have no family, going without a hot meal,” Stubblefield said.

The CARES Act steering committee is a group of state officials appointed by the governor. It recommends how best to spend $1.25 billion in federal aid that was made available when Congress approved the CARES Act in late March.

CARES is an acronym that stands for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

The senators who signed on to Stubblefield’s request for relief funding for senior citizens centers are Senators Bob Ballinger, Ronald Caldwell, Eddie Cheatham, Trent Garner, Kim Hammer, Ricky Hill, Keith Ingram, Blake Johnson, Mark Johnson, Terry Rice, Bill Sample, James Sturch and Dave Wallace.

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