COSTA MESA : Foundation Feeding Seniors Given Grant


The City Council this week agreed to allocate nearly $30,000 to the Feedback Foundation and has promised another $12,500 if it approves the results of two management audits recommended by the city staff.

About $16,000 of the grant was approved last November but held until the staff could take a closer look at the foundation’s financial records. The latest records, for the 1989-90 fiscal year, showed that the organization had financial problems.

The staff found deficits in the foundation’s balance and working capital, a negotiated repayment plan with the Internal Revenue Service for delinquent payroll taxes, unfunded vacation liability and unsecured loans from employees. The staff also noted that Feedback has reduced the number of meals served in Costa Mesa while receiving more money from the city.


Executive Director Shirley A. Cohen said most of the deficit items, including the taxes, have been paid. She added that the organization, which feeds seniors in 14 Orange County cities, had a balanced budget for the 1990-91 fiscal year and expects a balanced budget in 1991-92. The drop in meals has occurred partly because Feedback no longer serves breakfast, she said.

Cohen explained to the council that the federal government has not increased grants to the foundation for 10 years while food, rent and delivery costs have continued to climb.

“The money has to come from some place, and if the feds aren’t going to come up with it and the participants can’t, we have to come to the cities,” she said.

The rest of the $30,000 grant awarded Monday will come out of federal Community Development Block Grant money that will become available in October.

Councilwoman Sandra L. Genis appealed to residents to increase or start private donations to causes such as the senior meal program.

“I hope that Feedback continues to get their house in order, and I urge them to diligently pursue that. I have to wonder where these people are who go to the $500-a-plate socials. You have to wonder where are the people you see on the society pages,” Genis said.