Rhonda Humble
The Gardner Edgerton School District is no longer interested in working with the county on a proposed intergenerational pilot program that would allow Edgerton senior citizens to receive vouchers for meals at Edgerton Elementary.
The meal program was announced by Calvin Hayden, county commissioner, in September. Edgerton is the only community in Johnson County that doesn’t have a nutrition center.
Senior meals have been coordinated by Barb Moody for many years, but she is retiring this month. That leaves Edgerton senior citizens with no where to go.
The pilot program would have been a cooperative effort funded by the county and state in cooperation with the USD 231 school district, Hayden has said.
After the original talks with the district, Hayden said the county held off on the proposal until the district made required changes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the lunch program.
But the district has apparently changed its mind.
“This morning, we received word from the Gardner-Edgerton (School District) Food Service Manager that they are no longer interested in discussing the new meal program that we had proposed,” wrote Deborah Collins, Johnson County Human Services in an e-mail.  “I don’t know exactly what changed, but at this point we no longer have a meeting scheduled for next week.”
“We would still be very interested in trying to bring the program to Edgerton, should they have a change of heart,” wrote Collins. “At this time, we may consider approaching the De Soto or Spring Hill school districts to see if we can find a home for this pilot project.”
Leann Northway, community relations director, replied by email that she had forwarded the newspaper’s preliminary questions to Bill Gilhaus, superintendent, for clarification.
“I am not aware of the program you are referencing,” Northway e-mailed.