San Benito County Senior Services has seen its share of failing non-profits due to budget shortfalls created by the rising cost of services. Yet, despite the economic downturn of these groups, one program is still thriving.
The Jovenas de Antaῆo Senior Services Center or Youth of Yesteryear is a non-profit organization that has been open since 1975. Executive Director Pauline Valdivia said, “I have been here 38 years.” The senior center was started with a small nutrition program and grew to offer information assistance for family caregiver support programs, transportation services, nutritional meal program, and transportation provided for seniors in the San Benito County for 60 plus seniors, and people with disabilities. “I was one of the original founders who helped start with a small meals program, and then we were able to grow and provide different services to our seniors.”
These services are provided by independent providers who donate their time. “We especially provide a lunch program and meals on wheels program for seniors,” Valdivia said
For more than 38 years the center has delivered meals to its senior citizens in the San Benito County area. The center provides more than 1500 meals to its seniors across the county throughout the year. “Nutrition education and counseling is also provided to our seniors,” Valdivia said.
Transportation Services Driver Mark Haro with Jovenas de Antaῆo Senior Services said, “I pick up senior citizens and bring them to the center early to eat lunch and then take them back to their homes around three in the afternoon.” Non-profits throughout the county have gradually declined over the last five years, making it more difficult to provide services to aging seniors. The Jovenas de Antaῆo Senior Services program provides general services to senior citizens that are mostly 70 years plus. People that are 60 years old can still receive services from the center. However, older adults are living longer and are still working part-time to help supplement their income making them ineligible for the program.
The outreach program provides nutritional services as well as serving fresh seasonal varieties of fruits and vegetables. The Jovenas de Antaῆo Golden Age Nutrition Program serves senior at a donation of $2.50 per meal. This is a suggested cost, however if anyone is unable to pay they will not be denied a meal.