The purpose of senior dining is to offer a warm and caring atmosphere with friendship and fun for senior citizens, according to Linda Manz, senior dining coordinator at Paynesville.
Meals are prepared at the Paynesville Senior Dining site for Belgrade, Brooten, Elrosa and Cold Spring.
Since its opening, the numbers seem to be on the decline at the Paynesville Center. ďThe numbers can be deceiving when you average out a month. One week there might only be 13 to 16 diners in attendance and the next week, Valentineís party or birthday party, the numbers are way up,Ē Michelle Gralish, food manager, said.
For their Thanksgiving meal the Paynesville center had over 100 in attendance, Christmas over 80; Valentines, 64 and for their monthly Friday birthday party, 41. ďIf we could have about 20 daily, it would be great,Ē Manz said.
ďThe food is good and it only costs $2.25 per meal,Ē she added, ďI wish more people would come. The menus are printed in the Paynesville Press the week before so area residents know before they sign up what is being served. Modified diet meals are available to participants with special needs,Ē Manz said.
Manz said if the meal count doesnít come up, Catholic Charities is considering only serving meals a few days a week instead of every day.
ďThe only thing that keeps us going daily is the meals we prepare for other sites,Ē Gralish said. She prepares about 45 meals for Belgrade and 30 for Elrosa. In all, for the four sites, the meal count averages 60 to 65 on normal days.
Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels Program is provided by the Gladys Deadrick Memorial Meals on Wheels Program through the Paynesville Area Health Care System and Good Samaritan Care Center.
The program has three drivers, Larry Hoiland and Nick Fischbach, and in the summer months Dorothy Holifer. They deliver about 30 meals a day to area residents from Lake Henry to Hawick, to Roscoe and Paynesville.
Hoiland has been delivering meals for seven years. ďI enjoy talking to the people and helping where I can,Ē he said. Some of the people Hoiland delivers have candy treats waiting for him.
Olivia Schmidt, Paynesville, has been receiving meals for several years and says she enjoys the meals. ďI like to eat early while the meals are still warm,Ē she said. She receives her meals just before 11 a.m.
Officers serving on the Gladys Deadrick Memorial Meals on Wheels Board of Directors include: Lloyd Peterson, president; Mary Winther, vice president; Lorraine Adams, secretary; board, Bill Spooner, Lucille Seastedt, Betty Crusoe, Connie Buschette, Donna Mackedanz, Jeff Bertram, and Al Habben.
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