Rally planned to protest $7.4M senior nutrition cuts in Oklahoma

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: October 28, 2009 at 4:14 am •  Published: October 28, 2009
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Older Oklahomans plan to rally next week at the state Capitol to get money restored to Oklahoma’s senior nutrition programs.

The state Department of Human Services cut $7.4 million that pays for the program because of declining state revenue.

The funding cuts take effect Sunday. As a result, centers are planning to close facilities, limit services or furlough employees, a legislator said.

A rally is scheduled at 11 a.m. Wednesday on the 2nd-floor rotunda.

"The main thing is to raise awareness that the seniors are not happy and they’re going to go hungry come Sunday,” said Donna Campbell, a part-time state employee who is organizing the rally. "They’re cutting the meals down to four days week, they’re closing several sites. It’s just a disaster.”

Campbell, of Shawnee, said she expects more than 100 to attend.

"They have just got to find the money to feed our seniors,” she said. "They can’t just let these seniors starve to death.”

State revenue has come in 26 percent below estimates for the first quarter of this fiscal year, which began July 1. State agencies have had their funding cut by 5 percent each month. State leaders said Tuesday those 5 percent monthly cuts will continue for the rest of this fiscal year.

Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, asked Gov.


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