Hot meals, all year, and a chance for Kent seniors to socialize
KENT — During the colder months and also during the holiday season, communities often become even more concerned that everyone is able to get nutritious hot meals.This is particularly true for senior citizens — and of course for the elderly the need is not confined to November and December. The Kent Board of Selectmen and Park & Recreation Commission, in cooperation with The Kent nursing facility, Kent School, Marvelwood School and South Kent School sponsor a Friday lunch program for Kent seniors at the Senior Center on Swift Lane.The three private schools and The Kent supply the food each week, the town oversees the programs. Joyce Kearns in the Selectmen’s office takes reservations for each luncheon. The senior lunches are held every Friday during the school year. The only cost is a $2 suggested donation which is used to offset costs of beverages, paper and disposables and cleaning supplies. A fund surplus at the end of the last season was used to pay for a barbeque party for the seniors. Lesly Ferris, director of Kent Park & Rec said, “The money goes back into the program.”First Selectman Bruce Adams said, “This is the second year of the program. It started in the fall of 2010 and was so successful, the participants decided to keep it going.”The Senior Center is opened at 11:30 a.m. and lunch is served at noon. Ferris said, “The menu varies every week and is not known until the food is delivered to the center at lunch time. The only exception being food provided by South Kent School is always pizza and chicken wings.” Ferris added, “The program serves two purposes for the three participating schools. First, it is a way to give back to the community. Second, it is a way for students to become involved in community service.”Ferris said there are usually activities, such as guest speakers, bingo and holiday decorating as part of each lunch program.“It is not just about eating. For Kent seniors this is an opportunity to get out of their homes and socialize with their peers,” Ferris said.In addition to the Friday senior lunch program, there is a Monday and Wednesday lunch program administered by the Elderly Nutrition Program in Torrington which also includes a meals-on-wheels delivery service. Ferris added, “Between the two programs, meals are available at the Kent Senior Center three days each week.” The suggested donation for the Monday and Wednesday lunches is $3 per person.Reservations for both senior lunch programs are required. For Monday and Wednesday lunches call 860-927-3403. For the Friday lunches call Joyce Kearns at 860-927-4627.