Congregate Meals are served at five "meal sites" in Klickitat County. A hot nutritious meal containing at least one third of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of nutrients needed by the elderly is served Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Goldendale Senior Center, Mondays and Wednesdays at the Pioneer Center in White Salmon, Tuesdays at the Lyle Lyons Community Center. A donation of $3.50 is requested from those over 60. Those under 60 must pay the full cost of the meal (currently $6.50).
The Congregate Meal Program is based on the knowledge that people do not eat well in the absence of other people. We are social beings, and mealtime is an important social event in our lives. Seniors who may have become isolated are encouraged to take part in the meal program as a step towards getting involved with people again. Eating at the meal site helps prevent seniors, especially those living alone, from drifting into isolation. A recent study confirms that seniors who attend meal sites are healthier and more independent than their counterparts who do not attend.
Home-delivered (HD) meals are delivered to a senior’s home when attendance at a meal site is not practical. Home Delivered Meals participants are generally home-bound. Often HD meals are sent out after a hospital stay or when the spouse that usually prepares the meals becomes ill or dies. The goal is to encourage the senior to attend the meal site if and when it is possible, but HD meals provide nutrition when the senior is unable or unwilling to attend meal site. An Information and Assistance worker visits the home and does a short assessment before Home Delivered Meals can be provided. HD meals recipients are often at high risk for becoming isolated. Participation in the program assures that the recipient will have some contact with others.
Hot meals are delivered when the meal sites operate. Delivery is limited to the area that can be served while the meals remain at a safe temperature. Frozen meals are available to those who need them on other days or who live too far from the meal sites. As with other programs funded by the Older Americans Act, Home Delivered Meals participants are asked for a confidential donation. The requested donation is $3.50.
COPES program recipients may receive Home Delivered Meals as a part of that program.