Nutrition Manager Jamie Maviglia presents flowers in preparation for the resumption of in-person lunches at the Central Point Senior Resource Center. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]
Range of upcoming activities at the center
In-person lunches for seniors resume Monday at the renovated Central Point Senior Resource Center.
The launch meal consists of chicken and herbs with gravy, oven roasted potatoes, green peas and carrots, rye bran rolls and chocolate cake, for a suggested donation of $2.75. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.
Seniors 60 and older and their spouses are eligible for lunches, which will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the center, located at 123 N. Second St. in Central Point. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Maintenance and repairs at the senior center have taken longer than expected, pushing back the planned spring reopening to August, said Rogue Valley Council of Governments executive director Ann Marie Alfrey.
RVCOG purchased the senior center in hopes of partnering with the nonprofit Central Point Area Senior Citizens, which had provided meals, activities and a thrift store in the building for decades. The non-profit organization disbanded and stopped offering meals in March, although volunteers still run the thrift store.
RVCOG offers meals delivered to homes as part of its Meals on Wheels program and wanted to expand into in-person lunches at Central Point using the senior center building. It offers in-person group lunches in a dozen communities in Jackson and Josephine counties, in addition to a meal delivery service, Alfrey said.
Central Point City Manager Chris Clayton said RVCOG has worked hard to maintain some components of the old senior center, including allowing volunteers to run the thrift store and organize some of their own. activities.
Clayton said the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will also offer recreation programs.
“It’s a change for the seniors who have been there for a long time, we understand, but it will be a very good thing for the city and our seniors in the long term. From a social perspective, the communal dining site is certainly important, but we also wanted these recreational programs to be in place,” he said.
The RVCOG headquarters is located near the senior center. The agency used Central Point Grange Hall for meals-on-wheels delivery operations, but the building was insufficient for in-person seniors’ lunches.
“Ultimately, the decision (for RVCOG to run the facility) was to ensure that the Seniors Nutrition Program and Services for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities are extended indefinitely in the City of Central Point” , said Clayton. “Given they already provide this in the city and region, it made a lot of sense that they would run the catering site right across from their other offices.”
RVCOG’s Alfrey said she hopes seniors will welcome the new lunch operations and social activities at the Resource Center. She said seniors have been through a lot over the past few years.
“Our elderly population has been hit very hard by the social isolation of the pandemic,” she said. “We hope it will be well received and well attended. He has the ability to have a huge impact. It’s an opportunity to have a meal and socialize, which is something we sorely need these days. »
Alfrey said RVCOG has seen an increase in social isolation and depression among older adults during the pandemic. This can impact people’s health, as well as their social well-being.
Meals at the senior center will meet federal nutrition standards, with low-sodium and diabetic options.
Lunches at the center were $6, down from the new suggested donation price of $2.75. Seniors in the Central Point area funded the lunches through thrift store sales, donations and $20 annual memberships from its more than 100 members.
With the thrift shop still run by volunteers, Alfrey said she hopes resuming in-person lunches will bring more customers to the shop.
The thrift store is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Proceeds benefit senior center programs and activities.
The RVCOG’s sources of funding for the luncheons include money through the Federal Senior Citizens Act, local jurisdictions, and fundraising.
Clubs like the Central Point Woodcarvers and the Rogue Eagles Radio Control Club continue to use the senior center for their meetings.
Other recreational and educational activities are scheduled in the afternoons to follow the daily lunches.
The first activity is an AARP Smart Driver course from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, August 15 and 16. To register, call 541-423-1012 or visit bit.ly/3aKKTZD.