Program offers new way to dine

Published 4:20 am Friday, January 17, 2020

Seniors to receive one free meal a day at Mower County Senior Center

Any senior who would like one will soon be able to have one free meal a day at the Mower County Senior Center.

The program is available due to a partnership with Semcac, which receives a grant from the federal government, said Senior Center Executive Director Sara Schafer.

“The government is saying, ‘Anyone that is 60 and older deserves to have one nutritious meal a day,’” Schafer said.

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The only thing that is used to qualify the individual is their age.

“This is based on age. It is not based on income,” Schafer said. “We’re going to treat everyone the same.”

While no one knows the future, the grant program has been in place for a number of years and seems to be very stable, Schafer said.

“I know it is not set to go away any time soon,” she said.

If people so choose, they can leave an anonymous free will donation in a safe at the front office to help support the program.

For those who want to participate, a form is filled out once a year and then they receive a punch card which is punched whenever they have their daily meal.

At the end of each month, the cards are collected and used by the Senior Center for its paperwork, Schafer said.

Schafer has wanted to participate in this program for a while and is very excited to be bringing it to the Senior Center now.

Programs like these and making sure seniors are eating healthy foods are important to keeping them living independently for longer.

“In order to stay strong and healthy, someone needs to eat everyday and they also need to eat nutritious food every day if they want to stay healthy,” Schafer said.

In addition, this helps with keeping them socializing with others.

For many seniors who participate in exercise programs at the center, going to the coffee shop afterward is a habit, Schafer said. There, they visit with others, and if anyone does not attend without notifying someone, the group gets in touch with them to make sure they are alright and encourage them to attend workouts in the future.

The coffee shop, which replaced a used item store, has been very popular with people, Schafer said.

“We have a lot of people who come every single day and eat here,” she said.

Other than adding a new layer, food service at the center will not be changing.

While people can come in to fill out the paperwork already, the punch card system officially begins Monday, Jan. 20.

Have an event? Call the Mower County Senior Center to reserve space

Aside from getting a good meal, the Mower County Senior Center can be your destination for any kind of event you would like to hold.

With a selection of big and small rooms, the Senior Center can find the space best suited for you.

The multipurpose room can hold 290 people and comes with use of a commercial kitchen and stage and is perfect for your kind of celebration.

The room can be rented from one to four hours at a cost of $375. A $100 deposit is required to reserve the room.

If you are holding a smaller event, the room can be divided in half and still have use of the kitchen. This space can hold 242 people and still requires a $100 deposit.

Smaller rooms for 16 to 50 people are also available. Call the Senior Center at 1-507-433-2370 for more information on these rooms.

Along with all of this, the cafe at the Senior Center is fully stocked with snacks and beverages should you wish to have it open for your event.

For more information, visit