On a typical day at the Mountain View Senior Center, a lunchtime crowd buzzes with the happy hum of friends enjoying food and fellowship.
The Community Services Agency’s Senior Nutrition Program draws approximately 150 seniors 60 and over at 11:45 a.m. weekdays with the promise of a nutritious, subsidized lunch for $2.50.
Senior Nutrition Site Manager Elizabeth Musso plans the menus, which include well-balanced, healthful lunches that lately include more ethnic and vegetable dishes. Cook Yonna LauLum and kitchen aides Juan Gabriel Ventura and Yolanda Jimenez round out the staff.
Last year, because of the downturn in the economy, the program experienced a spike in the number of meals served, according to Megan Wadkins, senior services program director. The numbers have softened a bit this year, she said, most likely due to the fall swine flu scare.
While a meal may get clients in the door, Wadkins said the program’s menu also features live music, dancing and bingo. Ongoing education includes memory-enhancing activities, blood-pressure screenings and exercise programs.
“A meal is what gets them here, but it’s really the social connection that keeps them coming back,” she said.
Volunteers are needed to help serve lunches and man the reception desk.
“You have no idea how inspiring and uplifting it is to see their energy,” Wadkins said.
The Mountain View Senior Center is located at 266 Escuela Ave.
To volunteer, call Alison Hopkins at 964-4630.
For menus and the activity schedule, visit www.csacares.org/senior-services.
For more information, call 968-0836.