$25,000 grant awarded to Senior Center’s Happy Pak Program

RAPID CITY, S.D — $25,000 from the City of Rapid City’s Community Development Block Grant/CV 3 grant is being awarded to the Minneluzahan Senior Center to expand their Happy Pak Program.

The Happy Pak Program provides 50 Happy Paks which equals 100 meals per week to low and moderate income individuals with an emphasis on seniors at least 50 years old who live in Rapid City. The Paks include two meals and a crossword or word search activity.

The grant will allow the Senior Center to provide additional Happy Paks and meals through an expanded program.

“The program addresses food security issues among our senior population,” said Sarah Seamons, Happy Pak coordinator at the Senior Center. “The program is also important as it addresses the issue of loneliness due to isolation among many of our seniors. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a greater risk of loneliness among our seniors.”

Program organizers are seeking organizations to volunteer time and donate money or food items to the project. Volunteers call to check in and chat with senior participants and remind them of the Happy Paks and encourage participation, and participants are encouraged to provide a donation to the program.

“The program provides a sense of community, friendship and connection between the senior and their neighborhood senior center. Seniors need easy access to food, a sense of community, friendship and mentally-stimulating activities,” said April Malik, Minneluzahan Senior Center Director.

The $25,000 grant is part of $355,000 Rapid City is making available in Community Development Block Grant/CV-3 funds.

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