Shawnee's Senior Center serves 3,500 free meals to seniors each month. The meals will now include fresh fruits and vegetables thanks to new grant money.

The Shawnee Senior Center has received a $65,000 grant through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to assist with improving the Senior Meal Program.

Shawnee citizens age 50 years and older can receive free breakfast and a $2 lunch through the program. For many participants, this meal is the only food they eat throughout the week.

“This grant from The Walmart Foundation will allow us to provide fresh, rather than processed foods for our program participants,” said Kate Joyce, executive director of the Shawnee Senior Center. “In a state that ranks 49th in overall health and wellness, Walmart is providing us an opportunity to make a difference in the Shawnee community. For that, we are truly grateful!”

Joyce explained that senior citizens often have few family members living nearby and may experience depression and a significant decline in weight and health. The Senior Meal Program provides low-cost, healthy meals, social interaction and community support.

“The Shawnee Senior Center fills a vital need in the community,” said Walmart Regional Manager Rodney Walker. “The Walmart Foundation believes senior citizens in Shawnee will live longer and happier lives because of the Senior Meal Program.”

The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations by awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

To be considered for support, applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at


About The Shawnee Senior Center:

Opened in 1984, Shawnee Senior Center was a collaborative effort between Shawnee's senior population and the City of Shawnee. Each raised $500,000 to build the Shawnee Senior Center, which then became a City building and is maintained by the City Parks and Recreation Dept. Senior Citizens of Shawnee, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization whose Board of Directors come from senior-related organizations, businesses and services as well as at-large members of the Shawnee Community. Learn more about the Shawnee Senior Center at