Locals step up to continue senior meals
by Maddy Houk
Nov 01, 2012 | 1573 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a glance

WHAT: Senior lunches served

WHERE: Hammon Senior Center, 1033 W. Las Palmas Ave.

WHEN: 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday

INFO: Men and women age 60 and older are asked to give a $2 donation per person per meal. Those who are younger than 60 must pay $5 each. Lunch reservations are required one day in advance at 895-8197 for meals on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. For Thursday meals, call 895-8180.

Residents who eat lunches at the Hammon Senior Center on weekdays have endured meal cutbacks for five months starting in May due to economic challenges.

Now, however, city officials have approved funding and acted to keep the program running, and seniors can look forward to meals five days a week.

The Patterson City Council approved on Oct. 2 as much as $5,000 to help pay for meals from Howard Training Center through January. That action restored Howard Training Center meals on Tuesdays.

To bring in Thursday meals, a group called the Hammon Senior Center Meals Task Force formed and has met weekly since the beginning of October. Group members seek donations from local businesses and individuals to serve dishes such as pizza, soup, salad, bread and beverages to local seniors. Forty-nine seniors took part in the Thursday, Oct. 25 lunch the most recent Thursday on record at the time of the meeting.

Mary Bennett, a member of the task force, said all seniors are welcome to the planning sessions.

“It’s very important for every senior who walks in the door to be a part of this task force, that they can come in and observe and have an opinion,” Bennett said.

In addition to individuals and service organizations on the West Side, businesses from Modesto, Turlock and Los Banos have helped with Thursday meals, in response to requests from task force volunteers.

“The task force is issuing a challenge to local businesses, because on Nov. 1, the 6th Street Diner of Los Banos is donating soup for 45 seniors,” said Amy Hussar, a task force member.

The task force eventually wants to start a soup kitchen instead of serving pizza, but there is no date set to have the soup kitchen open.

More than a dozen members of the community who make up the task force also shop for food and supplies, pick up prepared food, store kitchen supplies and take care of signing in the participating seniors, serving their meals and cleaning up.

The group is also seeking donations of salad dressings, fresh fruits and vegetables, serving spoons, ladles, measuring cups, measuring spoons, cutting boards, whisks and ladles.

Before encountering hard times this past spring, Howard Training Center had provided meals to local seniors for six years. The organization also serves meals at 12 other senior centers in Stanislaus County.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 01, 2012
On behalf of the Senior Meals Task Force, I want to thank Dave from Pizza Plus, who has donated the salads for the Thursday meals. I also want to thank the Lions Club for their kind donation to the effort. It's wonderful to see our community step up and volunteer their time, effort and resources to help meet an important community need.

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