2007-01-11 / News

Senior Center updates lunch menu

By Michaela Kennedy

From noon to one o'clock every weekday, the Jamestown Senior Center hosts a lunch for anyone who enjoys a home-cooked meal and a chat with neighbors.

Charlotte Richardson, executive director for the Friends of the Jamestown Senior Center, announces that the New Year brings an updated menu to the senior dining program provided by Westbay Community Action.

"They're very good about listening to suggestions and are always looking for ways to improve," Richardson says of the agency.

Westbay workers prepare the food at the Pilgrim Senior Center in Warwick, and deliver the food in a "hot" truck.

Last Thursday, Richardson enjoyed turkey-a-la-king over a homemade biscuit, with cranberry juice. She praises the "nutritionally balanced" menu made with caring hands, and mentions her favorites. "They have nice desserts," she admits, revealing her weakness for sweets. After lunch, Richardson joins the weekly card game, High Low Jack. "We play for quarters," she chuckles, noting that money won goes toward the next meal at the center.

Some members have their favorite days, such as bowling day on Friday. Others come more frequently. "For some, it's a reason to get up, put on your coat, and go out," Richardson notes.

Fran Mackabee also enjoys Thursdays, when people go to lunch after a local art class. "It's a nice service," she says, also mentioning the ongoing card game. Mackabee appreciates the friendly, comfortable atmosphere at the luncheon. "It's a lovely atmosphere because it begins with a prayer," she notes, adding that the food is quite good, "but the people are even better." Mackabee has become a strong advocate for the dining experience. "I got involved because I saw how important it was to keep it going," she reflects.

She remembers a time when a loss of interest threatened the future of the center. At that time, she considered herself to be young enough and energetic enough to make her own lunch. "But I realized that it was better for me and better for them if I joined," she says.

Richardson reflects on those who established the senior center in the 1980s. The group started out as the Jamestown Senior Citizens Association, and evolved into the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors, a non-profit organization. "The founders of the organization are all gone now," she notes, adding that losing such an organization would be a loss to the community. "The senior center meant a great deal to those who worked hard to see it come about," she adds.

Richardson is quick to knock the conception of the meals being charity. "People pay for more than half of the cost of the meal," she notes.

Whether you like to save money or just like money, two-fifty for a full course meal, including dessert, is a deal.

Richardson gives credit and gratitude to the staff at the Grange. Earnest "Butch" Anthony and Richard Howland take care of the kitchen, serving the food every day at noon. Clifford Guy "does an excellent job keeping the place spotless," she says.

Remember to call in reservations for the following week's lunches by Thursday of the previous week. Box lunches may be ordered for delivery. For more information, call 423-3252

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