New York Seniors Stop Proposed Ban of Free Doughnuts

Local officials are listening to their elders, and giving up at least part of a plan to ban doughnuts from senior citizens' centers for health reasons.

Putnam County officials had proposed prohibiting free, day-old doughnuts from the county's five senior centers, which serve about 1,000 lunches each day. Nutritionists questioned whether the doughnuts were suitable snacks for people over 65.

Seniors rebelled, saying they're mature enough to decide what they eat. Some 250 people signed a petition blasting the proposal as a crummy idea.

On Tuesday, county officials proposed a compromise: Small amounts of doughnuts, cakes and other baked goods could be served at the centers — but they have to be eaten elsewhere.

The issue isn't just fat and calories, officials said.

"We were seeing huge amounts of days-old items coming in," said county Office for the Aging coordinator Doreen Crane. "Some of it was visibly moldy."

The suggested compromise isn't enough for seniors.

"Ludicrous," said Joe Hajkowski, 75, who launched the petition drive even though he doesn't eat doughnuts. "I don't like the way they are treating the seniors."