Visitor Submitted Articles

The Forgotten Seniors of Nameoki Township

Submitted by Anonymous

Dear Granite City Gossip,

After following and reading your web site for years, and reading the articles and seeing many pictures posted about the Township in Granite City, I have a few questions and comments. But first, I would like to give credit where credit is due. I can’t pretend that I know exactly who is in charge of the programs that the Granite City township provides to it’s seniors and disabled citizens, but I do want to recognize their efforts and thoughtfulness.

After recently speaking to a few of my friends about their social calendars, they would be both lost and lonely without the services that the township provides. I hear their stories of gathering with their friends that they would otherwise never be able to do without the assistance of the township. They look forward to Bingo days, and Cinema days and most recently a Fall Festival that did not cost them a dime to attend where food and beverages were provided for all that attended. They also offer scheduled outings to Walmart and grocery stores for the seniors that need that service.

When invited, by these friends for me to attend these events with them, they find it hard to understand why I have to decline, although I completely understand why. I live outside of Granite City in Pontoon Beach. So, there is no question or confusion for me why I can not attend these events with my friends, I fully understand that these services are for Granite City residents only.

This brings me to the question portion of my letter. Why doesn’t Nameoki Township have a building for our seniors and disabled to gather, or do they and I’m just not aware of it?  Why doesn’t Nameoki Township provide any of the services that Granite City does? Do we have our own Meals on Wheels program, to help seniors and the disabled? I understand that we don’t have our own theater, but why can’t our township arrange for us to have a Cinema day at the Granite City Cinema? Does our township have a van to use as a source of transportation like the Granite City township does? Why can’t we have our own Bingo day? Why can’t we have coffee & Doughnut mornings to share some conversation?

Are younger and middle age people so disconnected and out of touch, that they just don’t realize the importance of these things to a senior citizen or shut in? There comes a time when you reach a certain age, such as myself, that I avoid highway driving as much as possible, but I sure would love to stay local and drive to my local senior center to share a lunch or dinner and conversation every now and then. The older you get, the smaller your social circle becomes as far as friends are considered. There are times that seniors get lonely, they miss the things that most people take for granted, things as simple as hearing their own names being spoken. Actually laughing out loud while making eye contact with someone, instead of over the phone.

Collinsville recently opened a beautiful Senior Center that offers so many activities, it fills the calendar for so many seniors and gives them something to look forward to. This service is something people need to keep in mind when looking into the future and considering their retirement years. Looking back, I sure wish I would have.

We are old yes, but we are not dead yet. We still have living to do, laughing to do, sharing to do, creating to do, dancing to do, and loving to do. Invest in us, we’re worth it I promise, just ask our grandchildren.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way – Submitted by John Doe

The 2021 – 2022 school year has began facing many challenges, but these challenges should not have caught this district off guard. Last year was the year of surprises and challenges due to the Covid Virus, so you would think it would have been a valuable lesson in generating e-learning,  and also in attending in-school learning in this new environment of social distancing, masking and CDC guidelines.

During our student’s and staff’s summer vacation break, would have been the time to buckle down and get plans in place to better prepare for these new issues all schools are now facing. It appears as if other districts did indeed take advantage of that time to plan for their school’s re-opening with students back inside the classrooms. Breakfasts and lunches being served in other districts under the new challenges has not prevented these schools from providing hot meals for their students for both breakfast and lunch periods.

We have local private schools that have also figured out how to serve these same hot meals. We are all hearing the same excuses for our district’s failure to provide fresh, nutritious, hot meals for our students. One being COVID19 regulations, which I can find no valid information to back up this theory. Another excuse is a certain food distributor going out of business, that has delayed supplies making their way to our school cafeterias.  Clearly, other nearby districts have managed to order and receive deliveries from commercial food suppliers and their cafeteria workers are actually cooking!

My first thought is, there is far more than one food distributor for our district to work with. Secondly, our town has how many grocery stores? We also have Sam’s Club just a short drive from our area, and a Costco right across the river. In a pinch, instead of serving some off- brand cold “Lunchable” food kit look-alike to our students daily, why doesn’t the district order bulk luncheon meat like ham and turkey breast and have the cooks actually prepare fresh sub sandwiches daily? Produce could be purchased locally to  make side salads, and bags of chips could be purchased as well.  How about our cooks actually cooking large pots of soup with a toasted cheese sandwich? Fresh hot soup or a home made sub sandwich and a side salad and chips is far more palatable than these disgusting, mass produced, often times FROZEN meal kits.

Why are the horrible school lunches currently being served to our students uniquely a Granite City problem?  Who is responsible at the district level for our school cafeterias?  Lunches are provided free of charge to our district’s students, AS ARE THE EDWARDSVILLE DISTRICT STUDENTS!  Why are our children less deserving of receiving the type of hot breakfasts and hot lunches that Edwardsville students, Alton Students, and students from other local districts receive?  How much money is allocated to our district for these meals?  How much per student?  Are we utilizing these funds strictly to feed our students or has our district made this into a money making venture by not spending the allocated funds properly?  I, for one, would like some answers.