Kiowa County Senior Center needs beef donation for hamburger

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
The Kiowa County Senior Center and Meals on Wheels program now serves more thn 50 seniors in the three main towns of Kiowa County. This group picture from 2018 shows the building that was built 10 years ago in Greensburg.

On Friday, July 16, Kiowa County senior citizens will gather with friends and family to celebrate that 10 years ago ground was officially broken to build the Kiowa County Senior Center. Now serving more than 50 people with meals and social opportunities, senior center director Kari Kyle is hoping they might be celebrating news of donated beef for meals too.

"We are in need of ground beef," Kyle said. "We have many generous people who have donated food in the past and present, but our ground beef supplies are almost gone and we would really like to hear from anyone who could donate some beef."

Last year, Roger Stotts from Morning Star Farms, along with several partners, generously donated a whole beef that was put entirely into ground beef for senior center meals. At that time, locker dates were secured with a local processor for October 2021, but a beef has not yet been secured to fill that slot, Kyle said.

"Normally, we would get all of our food through Elder Care by way of orders with U.S. Food Trucks," Kyle said. "However, this year because beef prices went up during the pandemic and processing got backed up for the larger companies, we have not been able to get the beef ordered for our meals. There are shortages higher up."

Kyle said Elder Care was still responsible to pay for beef processing costs from the Kiowa County Senior Center, but she was just looking to see if there was anyone local that might be able to donate a beef that could be processed according to the local reservation at the locker.

"Financially, Elder-Care is a non-profit organization, and they need all the help they can get," Kyle said. "We have found that we love the locally grown and processed beef so much more than what is procurred otherwise, just hoping there might be someone who could help us out at this time with a whole beef to be made into hamburger."

Kyle said the Kiowa County Senior Center provides 30-35 in-house meals daily to Greensburg area residents. They also provide about 20-25 meals for Meals on Wheels deliveries to Mullinville and Haviland, and then also cook for a small daycare facility nearby.

"By providing meals to the seniors in our county we are helping them stay in their homes as long as it is safe for them to do so," Kyle said. "A lot of our older people are able-bodied but just not able to cook safely for themselves anymore."

Kyle said a main priority of the current Meals on Wheels program was to provide healthy eating options for those who may not be able to get out to the grocery store regularly or just had trouble cooking for one or two people on a regular basis.

"We want to provide them with healthy balanced meals," Kyle said. "We often run into those who just settle for oreos and pepsi for lunch because that is what is handy. That isn't very healthy."

Kyle said it takes at least 15 volunteers a week to get meals ready for Kiowa County residents who either come in to the senior center in Greensburg or have their meals delivered to their homes. She said that often, as the volunteers deliver meals they find they may be the only human contact a recipient has during the week.

"We really want them to function at their best and enjoy their later years, they deserve that," Kyle said. "We have the volunteers, we just need some more beef to keep going."

Kyle said Steve Taylor in Greensburg was a contact person for possible beef donations. Messages could also be left at the Kiowa County Senior Center by phone at 620-723-2288 or on their Facebook page via Messenger.