With the recent news of the withdrawal of the Riverbender.com Community Center from the Pepsi Refresh Project, two local agencies are still vying for funds. Alton Senior Services Plus is competing to win $250,000 in the nationally recognized Pepsi Refresh Project to purchase 8 hybrid vehicles to deliver over 600 meals daily to clients of the Meals on Wheels program and St. Peter and Paul Elementary School is seeking a $25,000 grant to purchase new computers and software. Pepsi has created a nationwide buzz, awarding millions for community based projects.

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Executive Director for Senior Services Plus, Jonathan Becker, submitted the idea with hopes of being able to steadily climb in the rankings. The competition has been fierce and they are appealing to the community to help spread the word to friends and family. “Replacing our Meals On Wheels Vehicles will reduce our overhead delivery costs for the Senior Services Plus, (SSP) Meals On Wheels program by $40,706 for a six year period - the projected life of the vehicles.  The project will pay for itself in that time. The SSP Meals On Wheels program is facing increasing fuel costs and an annual lease of $26,976.  The purchase of these vehicles will allow the program to continue to serve over 136,000 meals annually while donations continue to decrease by 5% each year and the program is facing state budget cuts, ” stated Becker in his grant proposal. “Our agency desperately needs those funds, please vote and encourage family and friends to help this cause.”

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The agency continues to struggle due to the delay in payments from the state, who currently owes them over $500,000.

To win the $250,000 Senior Services Plus must finish in the top two places in their category. Voting will continue until the end of June, and SSP will roll over another month if they manage to stay within the top 100. The project requires daily online voting and voters can go to www.refresheverything.com/seniorservicesplus, view a short video clip, and hear testimonials of clients that receive the Meals on Wheels. The video has had powerful reactions. 

For more information and to find out how you can help, with this project, contact Senior Services Plus at 465-3298.   

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