by Bretta Grabau, Bluff Country News Group | Wednesday, March 02, 2016 8:07 AM
The Semcac senior dining program has been a part of the Preston community for several years. However, a part of it came to an abrupt end when the B & B Olympic Bowl burned at the beginning of this year. However, beginning on Monday, March 7, the dining program will restart at Traditions of Preston.This dining program has been open to any person 60 years old and older, as well as spouses of anyone of that age range. Spouses could or could not be 60 years old or above. Each day, people of this age gathered at the B & B Olympic Bowl for their lunches, ensuring a well-balanced, nutritional meal.
“A lot of times when you are by yourself you don’t cook a nutritionally balanced meal. When seniors come (to the dining program), they do get a nutritional meal,” stated Semcac program coordinator Carolyn Freese. “This helps prevent issues like Alzheimer’s and your attitude gets better.”
Another benefit of the dining program is the opportunity to spend time socializing with others in that age bracket.
The challenge after the fire for Semcac was if and where it would be able to continue to provide this service to the Preston area seniors.
“The dining program ended because it was in the B & B and there were not many places that could provide the room for it,” Freese added.
One portion of the dining program, the home deliveries, continued despite the setbacks with a location.
“Preston Foods took over the home delivery right away, but we needed to find places for the senior dining,” Freese noted.
So since the fire, Semcac was hunting for a facility that would be able to provide the room to continue the dining program. This turned out to be a difficult process since several locations felt unable to provide the adequate space and right price necessary for the seniors to come dine five days a week.
After a few weeks, Semcac contacted Traditions of Preston.
“We tried to contact various places in town and Traditions was the only place available for our price,” Freese related.
Now that the place has been established for the program to begin again, there will be a couple of changes. Traditions has a weekly menu for the seniors to choose their meals from, rather than a number of different options to choose from in a restaurant. In addition, since Traditions is not a restaurant, seniors wanting to be a part of the dining program are asked to register before the meal to ensure enough food is made for the participants.
“It is a daily event starting March 7, and will be served to senior citizens on Monday through Friday each week. We want (the seniors) to call Semcac the first time to register. We want them to register a day in advance so they know how much to cook for. Once they have reserved (through Semcac) the first time, they will be able to make reservations at Traditions (for the following days),” Freese explained.
Tickets for the dining program will again be sold at the F & M bank for a suggested donation of between $3.50 and $6.50. However, no matter the donation, no one will be denied a meal.
“Whether you are rich or poor, you can donate and give what you want to give,” Freese said.
To reserve a slot for the dining program in Traditions, seniors can call (507) 864-8228 or (507) 864-8231. Those who come for the program are asked to arrive at 11:45 a.m. and the meal will be served at 12 p.m.
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