|Meet and Eat program looking to increase weekly numbers|
|Written by Chris Lee|
The regular crowd enjoys their lunch Monday, June 14 during Meet and Eat at the SunSet View Community Center. Erin LeBlanc, Phillips County Senior Service Coordinator, said numbers have dwindled in the past few years and urges seniors to take part in the program.
Erin LeBlanc, Senior Service Coordinator of Phillips County, is on a mission to raise awareness of the Meet and Eat program in Phillips County.
Currently there are about eight people who regularly attend Meet and Eat in Holyoke and around 18 in Haxtun, according to LeBlanc. She noted some of the surrounding counties see nearly 60-70 people attend. She also said not that long ago, attendance was around 30-40 in Holyoke.
Meals served are one-third of the recommended daily allowances for calories, nutrients and vitamins. They are suitable for any person who might have a restricted diet (diabetic, low salt, low cholesterol, etc.)
Those who attend Meet and Eat don’t only go for the food. It is a relaxing atmosphere where people are invited to engage in conversation with friends and can even lead to new friendships.
“It’s a great program. I want more people to be aware of it,” LeBlanc said. She added it would be nice to see some new faces even if it was once a week or a couple times a month.
LeBlanc isn’t sure why numbers in the area have dwindled to what they are. She questions whether or not it is a pride issue with the seniors.
The main goal of a congregate meal site is to provide at least one nutritionally balanced meal per day to seniors either at the Meet and Eat sites, or through home delivered meals. The meals also serve in maintaining independence so seniors may continue to reside in their homes for as long as possible.
There is no charge for meals but there is a suggested donation. Those wishing to take part are asked to RSVP by 8 a.m. on the day they wish to eat. For Holyoke call 854-2646 and Haxtun call 774-7158. Seniors are welcome to attend one or both meal sites, regardless of which town they live in.
The program is offered Monday-Friday in Holyoke and in Haxtun on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Other activities held at the Community Center throughout the week include exercise workouts, card games and Bible study.
LeBlanc can be reached at 854-2949 with questions or concerns.