Priority placed on serving community’s seniors

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

More than 12,000 meals handed out in Cassville since March 16

On March 16, the Cassville Senior Center made the difficult decision to close its doors to the public.

Due to the high risk of the people seen on a daily basis, COVID-19 is a real risk for those who most frequent the center.

Kristina Atwood, Cassville Senior Center regional lead, said the center is closed to the public, but they are still working every day to provide meals to seniors.

“We are offering drive through pick-up and home delivered meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,” she said. “Those are the frozen meals which can be picked up each day or for the whole week along with milk and desserts.

“Also, we are offering hot meals on Fridays for pick-up only, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through a partnership with Senior Age.”

Atwood said they aim to continue this as long as they are closed to the public.

“Our hot meal next Friday, Aug. 14, will be fried chicken legs with mac & cheese, coleslaw, peach cobbler, and biscuits,” she said. “The suggested contribution for those 60 years old and older is $3.50 and the price for those under 60 years old is $6.00.”

The hot meals on Fridays started about a month ago and have been successful.

“Additionally, we are offering telephone reassurance calls, and along with Senior Age, we are doing phone counseling assistance for medicare and benefits,” Atwood said. “At this time, we do not have a set date on our reopen, but we are in close contact with DHS and the local health department on those plans.”

People only need to be in the drive through between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for food services, but they are welcome to call ahead if they wish.

“Obviously, with COVID-19, we have a lot of seniors who are concerned with going to the store and grocery shopping,” Atwood said. “This is an option we are offering to help keep them safe.

“It is a great way for us to see our seniors and say hello as well.”

According to Senior Age, since March 16, there have been 755,175 total meals provided, 26,069 wellness calls and 4,855 completed tax forms for seniors despite their tax sites being closed to in-person support, along with many other services.

According to Atwood, the Cassville Senior Center between March 16 and July 31 served a total of 12,094, including pick-up, emergency home delivery meals, which is the number of home delivered meals to people who have come onto the service since the center closed to the public and home delivered meals.

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