After nearly two years spent locked and empty amid pandemic restrictions, life has returned to Lewis County’s senior centers.
Soft reopenings brought senior citizens, community members and staff back to the nonprofit Lewis County Seniors’ six locations over the last two weeks to share meals together and to socialize in anticipation of a full reopening in January.
“We just wanted to give people the option to come in,” said Lewis County Seniors Vice President Carol Brock.
The soft reopenings were also a chance for Lewis County Seniors to work out some of the “bugs” that inevitably popped up after the extended closure. Most of those bugs were sorted out after the first week of reopenings, Brock said.
All six locations underwent deep cleaning and facility work before community members were allowed back in.
Senior centers will be closed the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day and reopen Jan. 3 to a regular five-days-a-week schedule.
Paid staff members were able to handle all the soft reopening events without volunteer help, but Brock said volunteers will be necessary to maintain the regular schedule.
Lewis County Seniors’ emergency meal program, which kept many seniors fed with frozen meals through the pandemic, officially ended on Dec. 23; but staff are excited to be resuming the nonprofit’s in-person nutrition meal program.
Lewis County recently approved a $100,000 contract with nonprofit Lewis County Seniors to fund the nutrition program for the upcoming year.
“The nutritional support program is extremely important,” said Brock, adding that all seniors are eligible, regardless of their financial situation.
The nonprofit asks for a $3 to $5 donation per meal, but it’s not mandatory, Brock said. Lewis County Seniors picks up the rest of the tab.
For more information on Lewis County Seniors, to donate or to learn more about volunteering, visit lewiscountyseniors.org.
Lewis County Seniors Announces New Meal Days Effective January
The following are days when the senior centers will host meals. The centers themselves will be open five days per week.
• Twin Cities: Monday through Friday
• Winlock: Tuesdays and Thursdays
• Toledo: Wednesdays and Fridays
• Morton: Tuesdays and Thursdays
• Packwood: Wednesdays and Fridays
• Pe Ell (United Methodist Church): Mondays and Thursdays