By Jason Schoonover | Published 10:19 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017
A community action group updated the Mower County board Tuesday on how it’s helping some of Mower County’s needy young and old residents.
Leaders with Semcac spoke during the board’s regular meeting to outline the impact its agency is having on seniors, children and families in Mower County in its fiscal 2015 year from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.
Semcac served 9,246 meals to 142 Mower County seniors through Senior Dining at three sites in Austin and one in Lyle, while they saw an uptick to 3,618 meals delivered through Meals on Wheels volunteers to 44 seniors in Adams, Dexter, Grand Meadow, Lyle and Rose Creek.
“It allows people to stay in their home longer than normal,” Semcac Executive Director Wayne Stenberg said.
Mower County is also Semcac’s largest county for its Head Start services with 128 children at the Community Learning Center and Holy Cross in Austin and at the LeRoy-Ostrander School.
But Semcac is looking for a new building to replace Holy Cross, because it’s a split level building with a lot of stairs, which causes concerns with preschoolers walking up and down them, according to Head Start County Coordinator Joanne Ross.
“That is something we are working on, trying to find a new building to house our facility,” Ross said.
Ross told the board how Semcac provides breakfast, lunch and a snack to children each day, and St. Olaf Lutheran Church helps provide a backpack of food for families once a week to send students food for the weekend.
“It really is a wonderful program,” Ross said. “Like I said, we serve the neediest of the needy.”
But the group helps out families through various assistance programs as well.
They’ve also helped some people get green cards or attain citizenship.
In recent years, Semcac has seen many successes, including a mother who they helped become an ESL teacher,
A past student is now in medical school working toward becoming a doctor.
“I don’t think it’s that well known what a wonderful job Semcac does in all these different programs for this county,” Reinartz said.
Semcac by the numbers
—9,246 meals were served to 142 Mower County seniors through Senior Dining at three sites in Austin and one in Lyle.
—3,618 meals were delivered through Meals on Wheels volunteers to 44 seniors in Adams, Dexter, Grand Meadow, Lyle and Rose Creek.
—1,261 households in Mower County received assistance with utility payments during the winter, while an additional 354 received additional crisis assistance.
—11 households in Mower County had their homes weatherized or learned about energy conservation.
—28 households received emergency energy-related repairs, such as a furnace replacement.
—2 homes in Mower County were assisted with Rehab Loan Program funds.
—4 homes in Mower County were assisted with rehabilitation through the Minnesota Housing Owner Rehab Loan program.
—181 children from 73 households were served through the Head Start Center preschool or with home-based educators in Mower County.
—82 children age birth to three years and/or pregnant women received Early Head Start services at their home in Mower County.
—98 people from 45 Mower County households attended budgeting or financial literacy education/counseling.
—44 households were assisted with rent or mortgage payments to prevent homelessness.
Read article online, here: http://www.austindailyherald.com/2017/02/semcac-reports-to-county-how-it-is-helping-community/