By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma – Edmond City leaders are looking for donations to help revive a senior meal program that was eliminated because of state budget cuts.

The program that provided meals at the Edmond Senior Center was cut due to reductions in the budget for the state Department of Human Services.

Now, instead of getting a free meal the seniors are bringing their own lunch, if they can. 

"We've told our seniors to come anyway, bring your lunch you need to be out socializing with your friends playing cards," said Gail Deaton, Edmond Senior Center manager.

To bring the hot meals back, Edmond city leaders have set up a fund for private donations. The money will pay for a catering company to provide food.

Seniors who come for lunch also will be asked to make a small donation if they can afford it.

"The suggested donation for them to eat will be $2.50 to offset the cost of the meal," Deaton said. "When the community has asked how can we help we would love for them to make a monetary donation to also offset the cost of the meal."

Seniors like Bennie Peters said they're glad the program will come back, but they are concerned the donations are only a temporary solution.

"I think it's good they want to keep the program going but I don't think we should have ever been cut to start with because everyone here pays taxes just like everyone else," Peters said. "I know we have less money in the state and federal government, but I think they can find enough to feed us."

Officials said they hope to have the meal program running again by December 8.