The location has changed, but the mission remains the same.

Mid America Nutrition Program (MANP), a regional nonprofit that provides discounted meals for seniors 60 and over, has moved its Ottawa meal site location to First Baptist Church, 410 S. Hickory St., Ottawa. The organization previously hosted its meal site at Washburn Towers in Ottawa.

MANP’s meal sites — the nonprofit operates 25 over six Kansas counties — serve seniors nutritionally balanced hot meals, and function as distribution points for MANP’s accredited Meals on Wheels program, which delivers meals to homebound seniors.

A variety of factors led to the meal site’s recent move, Angie Logan, MANP executive director, said.

“We are hoping to be able to serve and reach more people this way,” Logan said. “There are a lot of seniors in the congregation, not only at First Baptist but also at surrounding area churches. And [First Baptist has] a brand new kitchen, which is more accommodating for the size we need, to serve people.”

The meal site serves a sizable homebound population as well, Logan said.

“We have about 80 meals that go out locally that we need to package up, that local volunteers deliver, so that was a factor in the decision,” she said. “We’re thankful that Jessica, the pastor there, and the congregation let us move in. We’re grateful that we’ve got such a beautiful site to be in.”

The move began a week before Memorial Day, and since then, Ottawa MANP site manager Pat Schulz has enjoyed working with advantages the site affords.

“The advantages that I see right now are the large kitchen and storage area,” Schulz said.

The move has also brought setbacks, however. The size of the meal site’s daily lunch crowd diminished dramatically after the move, Schulz said, adding this is likely due to lack of knowledge about the new site’s location.

Schulz is doing what she can to get the word out, she said.

“There are people in this community that need meals,” she said. “I want to see that built up, and I want to see people get what they need. And I would like to see the senior community get in here and take advantage of what is offered to them.”

Part of the problem is overcoming a stigma associated with meal programs.

“They seem to think, ‘Oh, that’s only for poor people,’” Schulz said. “It’s for people of all ages, of all salaries and income levels. It doesn’t matter.”

To further the organization’s vision of reaching all homebound seniors in the community, the new meal site is in great need of volunteers, Logan and Schulz said. For information about volunteer opportunities, call (785) 242-8341 or visit