Thursday, July 1, 2010

Program provides meals for seniors

Since 1973, those over the age of 60 have been able to eat a nutritional meal at more than 30 locations in a 10-county area that includes those covered by the Rural Ventures publication.
The 60s Plus Dining program is a noon luncheon program for people ages 60 and over.
Sandy Vostad, who is the Site Manager for the 60s Plus Dining program, said the program’s main objective is to help senior adults remain healthy and independent through good nutrition.
“If we did not have this service there would be many seniors who would not have at least one nutritious meal a day,” she said. “Some would just snack on junk food.”
It is estimated that more than 850 people participate in the program.
“60’s Plus Dining provides balanced meals to help maintain a healthy body.” Vostad said. “People who are well nourished have more energy and fewer illnesses than those who are not.”
In addition, participants are able to socialize with friends and meet new people.
There are no age restrictions and no lengthy forms to complete. Reservations can be made by calling the nearest dining site listed in the local newspaper, or by calling the Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership office in your area.
While there is no set charge for the meals, everyone is encouraged to contribute toward the cost of the meal, according to Vostad. “These contributions, combined with limited state and federal funding, enables the program to meet expenses,” she said. “Contributions are appreciated and remain confidential. EBT (food stamp) cards are gladly accepted.”
Vostad said in addition to our congregate dining sites, in many communities dedicated volunteers deliver meals to home-bound participants who are unable to come to the dining site. There is no charge for this special service. Carry out meals are also available.

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