TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Amalgamated Sugar is lending a helping hand to the Twin Falls Senior Center.

The sugar manufacturing company is donating a three-month supply of sugar to the senior center. The donation comes in the form of white sugar, powdered sugar and brown sugar, said Jessica McAnally, spokeswoman for Amalgamated Sugar.

There’s just one challenge the two partners are working to overcome: the senior center can’t store that much sugar all at once and so Amalgamated will be dropping off the donations piecemeal, as needed. The company is working with the center to work out a schedule, McAnally said, but the first drop-off likely will happen sometime within the next week or two.

She said the company has donated to other area organizations, including local food banks, but this donation is larger than others because of the number of people the center serves.

“Community donations help us out an awfully lot,” says Jeannette Roe, executive director of the Twin Falls Senior Center. “Donations are huge for us to supplement our budget.”

The Twin Falls Senior Center provides between 175 and 250 hot and cold meals per day to individuals both at the facility and delivered to home-bound seniors, according to Jeannette Roe, the center’s executive director, or some 70,000 meals a year. She said the facility goes through about 150 pounds of white sugar a week.

The center saw record numbers in January and March for the number of meals served. She said 6,719 meals were served by the center in March alone, and of that number nearly 75 percent, or 5,028 meals, were home deliveries.

“We've doubled the numbers in the past three years,” Roe said. “And the numbers keep growing.”

She said the number of seniors who need assistance will likely keep increasing into the foreseeable future, perhaps for several more decades, as Twin Falls' senior population continues to grow.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060.

Roe said it helps her facility a great deal when a community partner steps up.

“Community donations help us out an awfully lot,” she said, noting the senior center spends between $16,000 and $20,000 a month on food to provide its services. “Donations are huge for us to supplement our budget.”

McAnally said once Amalgamated Sugar heard about the senior center’s need for donations, the company reached out and assessed how it might help.

“We thought it’d be a good way to give back to the community,” she said.

File photo by Andrew Weeks
Sugar beets are seen on display at an invitation-only celebration in 2016 at Amalgamated Sugar in Twin Falls. (File photo by Andrew Weeks)

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