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State

State steps in to save senior hot lunch program

BLOOMINGTON (AP) — The state of Illinois has stepped in to save a program serving hot lunches to seniors living in more than a dozen east-central Illinois counties.

A regional agency had decided to end the Peace Meal Senior Nutrition program at the end of this month after a key sponsor pulled out.

The East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging decided to replace the program with another, cheaper option that would have distributed frozen meals instead of hot lunches.

That prompted complaints to the Illinois Department of Aging, which overturned the regional agency's decision.

The Peace Meal program will continue to serve seniors in 14 counties under a new sponsor. The one-year contract is with Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, which will receive $1.3 million from the state.

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