Friday, November 28, 2014

Meals on Wheels losing program’s longtime leader

By The Herald Staff | 10/4/2013

A local provider of meals to struggling seniors is losing its leader.

Sharon Geiss, longtime Mid-America Nutrition Program executive director, announced her coming resignation late Thursday. Geiss, who has served in the position since 2000, expects to depart Nov. 8.

A local provider of meals to struggling seniors is losing its leader.

Sharon Geiss, longtime Mid-America Nutrition Program executive director, announced her coming resignation late Thursday. Geiss, who has served in the position since 2000, expects to depart Nov. 8.

“I have enjoyed my time at Mid-America Nutrition and believe in the mission, but it is time for me to step down and the board to find someone with new ideas and new energy,” she said.

Geiss has spearheaded the organization, which provides Meals on Wheels and other food services to seniors in Franklin, Anderson, Osage, Linn, Miami and Coffey counties, amid an economic downturn that saw demand for service skyrocket, while funding for meals has remained flat. Operating out of a facility at 1538 N. Industrial Ave., Ottawa, Mid-America Nutrition is dependent on donations, as well as money from the Older American’s Act, the State of Kansas and each of the counties served.

“I have been fortunate to be involved in leading the organization to stability after the purchase of the building that houses our kitchen,” Geiss said. “I led the program to become accredited by the Meals on Wheels Association of America, which assures that we operate at the highest standards for our industry. As part of that accreditation, Mid-America Nutrition has an emergency preparedness plan that will assure emergency personnel will know who and where our frail clients are in the event of a natural disaster.”

Serving as the president of the Meals on Wheels Association of Kansas, as well as on the board of the Meals on Wheels Association of America, Geiss said she will continue to advocate for the program.

“My passion as an advocate for our seniors will not end Nov. 8,” she said. “I have seen personally how important this program is to seniors, and I want to continue to work to end senior hunger.”

The Mid-America Nutrition Program is governed by a board of directors who are responsible for hiring a new executive director, Geiss said. The board met recently via conference call to begin the process of moving forward.

“Fortunately, Mid-America Nutrition Program has an outstanding staff that can keep the organization running smoothly while the search for a new director is underway,” Geiss said. “It has been a true privilege to serve as the executive director of Mid-America Nutrition.”

comments powered by Disqus