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Senior Center provides curbside meals
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Senior Center executive director Lana Whitlock hands two meals to Becky and Kyle Phillips. - photo by Jennifer Woods

This Wednesday isn’t the first time the Warren County Senior Center served lunch, but it was a first offering it for curbside pick-up. In 15 minutes, over 30 meals were out the door and in people’s cars.

Lunch at the Senior Center is offered to the entire community, regardless of age, with a range of 100 to 120 meals being served. Due to COVID-19, the center is closed.

Meals will be prepared every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to anyone who calls in and places an order between 8 and 10 a.m. on those days at 473-6559. Taking orders is essential to planning food amounts so supplies will not be wasted. Each meal is $4.

Executive director of the Senior Center, Lana Whitlock, and the board of directors decided to create a solution for the closure. “The purpose for continuing and adding days for meals to be picked up is to help people who can’t cook, fight crowds at stores or shouldn’t be out with others,” said Whitlock. “This gives more opportunities for a home-cooked and hot meal. We want to offer healthy foods. This is for everybody, not just seniors. Keeping safe is our priority now and we’re here to serve our county.”

Board member Christy Ross said, “Our priority is the health and well-being of our senior citizens. In this very fluid situation we know one thing for certain. Our seniors are the most vulnerable and we want to provide meals for those who wouldn’t otherwise have them either through monetary struggle or physical restriction. If any senior can prepare their own meals we ask that you do so. These efforts in the coming days are for those with little to no means.”  

Ross also stated, “We will meet these ever-changing challenges as best we can to make sure no one is without basic necessities. Any info or updates can be found at our social media sites.”

Regular Senior Center visitor Carol Crouch was in line to pick up her meal and said, “I always come for the meal. This is the first time it’s a pick-up and drive thru. I’m glad it’s here and not going away.” Crouch also shared that she is there every day and can’t wait for them to be open again, but understands the current situation.

Whitlock suggests to center members several things they can do to remain active while being safe during the closure. “Reading a book, exercise classes online, write a letter, call your friends and as of now state parks are still open. Go get some fresh air,” said Whitlock.

The Warren County Senior Center thrift store is remaining open for the time being with adjusted hours. They have clothing for those in need who want to avoid larger stores. Clothing prices range from $1 to $2 and shoes are 50 cents. There isn’t a tax on clothing. Books and videos are available as well.

Board member Jason Hillis was assisting Wednesday with the first-ever curbside lunch and said, “Warren County has done a really good job helping our community. Don’t stop helping. We just need to find other ways to help each other. Sacrifices made now will hopefully shorten this event. Call us if you need anything. We can figure out a way to help you.”

The Warren County Senior Center and thrift store are located at 809 Morrison Street in McMinnville.