SENIOR ACTIVITY CENTERS TO SERVE TO-GO MEALS, MAINTAIN COMMUNITY BOND

Senior Appreciation Day00000000

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Sydney Melson

West Alabama’s Senior Activity Centers are currently closed, but the impact they have on senior communities is going strong.

The West Alabama Regional Commission’s Area Agency on Aging runs 22 Senior Activity Centers. These centers serve as a place for seniors to play games, learn computer skills and have a hot meal.

Due to social distancing rules the centers can’t reopen yet, but curbside pickup and delivery of hot and frozen meals will continue starting May 18, weekdays only.

While the food is nutritious, the real draw of the meal is the chance to make friends. Mary Cook, 79, visited the Brent Senior Activity Center in Bibb County, Alabama for the past five years. She said the center helped pull her out of a slump after her husband passed away.

“I was just really depressed and sat there all day,” Cook said. After falling ill and spending time in a nursing home, Cook said her friends from the center came to visit. “We love each other here,” she said.

Audrey Crowder, the nutrition project coordinator for West Alabama, said the sense of community they’ve built over the years is still going strong during the pandemic.

“Our center managers made sure to call them [the seniors]at least three times a week and make sure they do not get lonely during this time,” she said.

When the centers served meals before the pandemic, Crowder said they served about 4,000 meals per week throughout West Alabama, and delivered roughly 300 frozen meals to the homes of seniors in need.

“If they do not live far from a center, we also deliver some of our hot meals to those clients’ homes,” Crowder said.

During isolation, Crowder said every client received 14 shelf-stable meals every two weeks.

The center encourages anyone who is interested in the program to call 205-333-2990 or 1-800-AGELINE extension 217. You can also find your local activity center here. Seniors who are 60 and up are eligible. There is no cost or income limit to participate.

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