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50th Anniversary Event is June 8

Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. proudly announces its 50th-anniversary celebration, commemorating five decades of dedicated service to the residents of Wise, Lee and Scott counties and the City of Norton. The community event will be on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the David J. Prior Convocation Center at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. MEOC invites the public to attend and celebrate this significant milestone.

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MEOC accepting Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program applications

Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., is accepting applications for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. This program provides older citizens who meet income guidelines with greater access to locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and supports local farmers. To qualify, recipients must: Be at least 60 years old. Live within MEOC’s service area of Wise, Lee and Scott counties and the City of Norton. Have income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The monthly income limit for a one-person household is $2,322; for a two-person household, it is $3,151.

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Fueling the Spirit of Giving

If you’ve ever been to a Mountain Empire Older Citizens Walkathon, there’s a good chance Anne Newlun was there. Newlun, or “Miss Anne” as most people in Norton, where she lives and taught at Norton Elementary School for 49 years, affectionately call her, is among the event’s most loyal supporters. She has participated in the annual Walkathon to raise money for MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly for decades, faithfully gathering donations and often walking in the event with a group of her students. She plans to be there for the 48th Walkathon this year.

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Help Needed to Warm Hearts, Homes

Mountain Empire Older Citizens invites local churches and individuals to join the upcoming Hearthwarming Sunday, an initiative that provides vital midwinter support for the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly.  The fuel fund annually provides emergency heating assistance to about 1,000 older adults in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Now is the time of year when requests increase, and funds dwindle. The annual Hearthwarming Sunday, held on the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day, provides a much-needed boost to help meet requests through the remainder of the winter. 

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Emergency Fuel Fund receives $50,000 grant

The Rapha Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. Foundation Executive Director Mark Vanover, left, delivered a check to MEOC’s office on Dec. 21. The nonprofit Rapha Foundation is dedicated to improving health and education access in Southwest Virginia. MEOC’s emergency fuel fund assists older persons in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton with heating costs such as payment of an electric bill or oil, gas, coal or wood delivery. Vanover is pictured with MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler. Learn more about The Rapha Foundation here.

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Fuel assistance requests high early in season

MEOC’s emergency heating assistance program is in full swing, with close to 570 households assisted and $101,260 expended in the first six weeks of the program. “Our phone lines ring nearly nonstop all day as soon as the fuel assistance program opens each year on Nov. 1. And the calls keep coming until the program ends on March 31,” said MEOC Emergency Services Director Marsha Craiger. Requests for help come from low-income older adults in MEOC’s service area of Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton who are without heat or in danger of being without heat […]

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PACE helps participant return home after stroke

Area resident Cathy Shupe was struggling to live at home. She had recently suffered a stroke with right-sided weakness and was finding it difficult to regain her strength to stay safe and independent at home. Cathy was at risk for nursing home placement, though she was hesitant to give up on her dream of remaining at home with her beloved cat, Marmalade. Cathy eventually enrolled in Mountain Empire Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Unfortunately, within two weeks of enrolling, she had several falls and no longer felt safe living at home alone.

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Maddox posthumously named Outstanding Older Worker

As MEOC’s kitchen services manager, the late Ron Maddox helped serve hundreds of thousands of meals to the elderly in need in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Maddox was kind and generous. He was also funny, quick witted and had a smile for everyone he encountered. “If you knew Ron, he made you laugh. He was a friend to all,” said MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler, who knew Maddox since Ron began working at MEOC in 2009 as a transit driver. Maddox passed away on July 26 after battling cancer. When it came time to […]

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Public hearing on Area Plan for Aging Services set

Mountain Empire Older Citizens Inc. (MEOC) will host a public hearing on its proposed 2024-2027 Area Plan for Aging Services on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 10 a.m. at 1501 Third Ave. E., Big Stone Gap, Virginia. The public hearing is intended to engage community residents 60+, caregivers and organizations that work with older adults and persons with disabilities. These hearings provide MEOC with valuable insight to better address the needs of older adults in the region. The plan is available for review before the public hearing; contact MEOC at (276) 523-4202 to request an electronic copy. Written comments regarding […]

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