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Food, friendship found at senior lunches

Lasagna dinner benefit planned for Friday night
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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To enjoy a wholesome and nutritious meal ? with a helping of camaraderie ? Kathy Horn suggests a visit to the Seniors First lunch program. The lunch ? served Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays ? is one of the ways the nonprofit organization helps seniors stay independent. The hall is provided through the hospitality of the United Methodist Church of Colfax, located at 59 W. Church St. Horn has been in charge of the Colfax site for one year, but had been a participant with her mother ? who has dementia ? for about two years prior to taking the job. On Friday, Horn said, the menu was a ?pretty healthy, well-balanced meal? of chile con carne, a mix of vegetables such as peas, zucchini, carrots and broccoli, and a fruit cup, plus milk and coffee and tea. It a good meal at a decent price, she said. While the suggested amount is $5 per person, payment is not required and no one is turned away. ?For people 60 and over, if you can?t pay, we don?t collect. We feed everyone. ? Even if they give a $1 or $2 or nothing at all,? Horn said. According to Horn, the actual cost to the program is $6.80 for each meal. Prior to August 2011, meals were prepared at a kitchen at DeWitt Center at a cost of $8 each. In order to cut costs, and not eliminate the program, Seniors First contracted with Bateman Senior Meals, which uses ?all fresh food to make it more like homecooked,? she said. The Colfax site serves about 36 meals per week. Additional meals also go to homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels. One aspect of the program that?s priceless is the socialization it provides. ?It?s good fellowship, with nice conversation, a place to have fun with friends,? said Horn, who has lived in Colfax for 32 years. Widowers Lenard Taylor and Nahmen Nissen, who are lunchtime regulars, agree. ?It?s a fun group,? said Nissen, who lost his wife, Linda, 10 years ago. Taylor is a retired teacher from Colfax High School and Sierra College. His wife, Marilyn, passed away eight months ago and he found it hard to prepare meals just himself. Cooking for one, he said, ?is not the most ideal way for cooking.? Horn said she is proud of her work with Seniors First and finds it rewarding to be a part of the lunch program. ?I know a lot of people; it?s very nice having this here,? to provide good food, she said. She invites anyone, of any age, to have lunch with the group Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. ?We encourage people to be regulars, but any number of days is OK,? Horn said. Reservations are requested by leaving a message at 889-9500, ext. 210. ?Or come in ? I can put the order in,? she said. The hall opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes about 1:30 p.m. or later. ?I don?t chase them out,? Horn said. A benefit for the Seniors First Meals on Wheels program takes places Friday, May 18, at the Colfax Greek Bistro, 3 N. Main St. The ?Lasagna on Wheels? fundraiser runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and includes the entree, salad, garlic bread, dessert and lemonade. Meals will be available for dine-in or for take-out. Tickets are $10 each, and can be purchased now or at the door. For more information, call Elan Vitkoff at Greek Bistro at 305-4050. Vitkoff is part of the Senior Living Group of the Sierra Foothills, organizers of the event. Other sponsors are Tully-Wihr, Sierra Market, Auburn Grocery Outlet, and Colfax Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Maeding. -------------------------- LASAGNA ON WHEELS When: 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 18 Where: Colfax Greek Bistro, 30 N. Main St. Tickets: $10 per person Benefit: Seniors First Meals on Wheels Call: 305-4050