By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – In a special-called meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court last Thursday, the commissioners unanimously voted to approve a vendor agreement for the county’s senior nutrition program.
The agreement signed is between the county and the Tyler County Hospital District, and Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher, who took the reins on the program for the county after the previous provider ended its service last year, was authorized to sign the agreement.
The program outlined for the county puts the service at $8.51 per meal, with two options noted on the agreement, one price for 30 meals per day at $253.30 and another figure of 42 meals per day at $357.42.
The item had been tabled from a December 2022 meeting. Blacksher explained in the meeting that the number of meals would fluctuate but wanted to get the information for the two per-day figures, as a ballpark average of when the program picked up. The vendor agreement will give the county time to go out for bids for food suppliers starting in February, Blacksher said.
The agreement “had never been a permanent thing…we’re going to get off the ground [with the program],” he added.
Blacksher emphasized the importance of the nutrition program for the county’s senior population, providing low or no-cost meals. “We need to do this for our senior citizens,” he said, and noted that in today’s economic climate, many seniors have little money left for food after healthcare and other expenses.
In meeting with counsel on the matter, Blacksher said the agreement should not exceed $45,000 per year, and noted also that the funding from DETCOG on the program will help greatly, as there will be staffing to consider as well as the meals.