Gourmet vs. fast food prices?
While it may outwardly appear that the
Needville Senior Citizens issue has quieted down, nothing
could be farther from the truth. The Needville Ministerial
Alliance continues to try to negotiate an agreement with the
Fort Bend Senior Citizens Organization, but thus far has not
been successful in getting help or adequate answers to some
of the important questions put forth.
One interesting thing that has surfaced
is the reported cost of serving meals to the seniors. The
Fort Bend Senior Citizens Organization produced a
spreadsheet that offered more questions than answers. One
former board member said the cost of serving one meal in
Needville is $16 per meal, while serving the same menu in
Katy is only $2.95. Supposedly, things such as gas,
employees and ďadministrativeĒ costs were factored in. The
City of Katy supplies a city-paid site manager, the
facilities and pays all expenses, so the costs are
substantially less, officials were told.
However, while Needville is in a highly
rural portion of Fort Bend County, and thus might take more
gas to bring the food to the center, as originally claimed
by the director of the non-profit organization, the
Needville Ministerial Alliance has always (and still does)
provide the facility, utilities, maintenance, and one full
home-cooked meal on Friday. So, folks are rightfully asking
just how did the costs of providing a meal to seniors in
Needville jump to gourmet prices while in Katy the same menu
is equivalent to a fast food drive-through?
Canít blame this one on gas. Katy is 19.6
miles from Rosenberg and Needville is 10.9 miles from
Rosenberg. So, it must just take more administration to do
Needville than it does to do Katy, right? Who knows.
When Meals on Wheels food provider had a
kitchen fire in December of 2004, the director of Fort Bend
Senior Citizens said the organization paid $2.94 per meal
and served 300 seniors. Prices must have really changed
since that time. If the $2.94 is still correct, Katy is
paying a penny for administrative services and Needville is
paying $13.05 per meal. Other locations pay different
prices. In Rosenberg the cost per meal is $6.28;
Fresno--$10.48; Tri-City (Sugar Land, Stafford and Missouri
City)--$5.42; and Waller--$9.93.
The question as to what is factored in to
get these figures has been asked but the answer is still
pending. This issue and a growing list of additional
questions are being put forth in meetings with public
officials, administrators and board members of the
organization, and community members. Hopefully, someone will
step to the plate and give clear, concise answers to these
Iíve heard some area restaurant owners,
aghast at the statistics, say they would gladly deliver
meals to seniors for $16. And, Iíll just bet that price
included gas and ďadministrativeĒ costs.
So, stay tunedómore to come.