Missoula County Coverage

Feb 1, 2013 3:21 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

Missoula seniors being offered affordable meals

MISSOULA - Some help is on the way for senior citizens in the Garden City who are looking to have a good and healthy lunch.

Missoula Aging Services (MAS) and the Missoula Senior Citizens Center are offering up a meal program designed to offer good nutrition, socialization and health information for older adults of all income levels.

The meals are being served five days a week at the Senior Center on South Higgins Avenue, and cost of $6 a meal, with MAS providing $3 toward each qualified meal beginning on Feb. 4.

Folks who are over 60 simply need to complete a MAS congregate meal form in order to get the $3 meal rate,

Anyone under age 60, or without a completed form, may still dine for $6 a meal. Caregivers and spouses of older adults over 60 may dine at the $3 cost when they accompany the person who has filled out the MAS congregate meal form.

The Senior Center has offered weekday lunches for years, and both organizations think their partnership will allow for expanding the menu and increasing the number of participants.

"Senior hunger does exist in our community," MAS Program Manager Curtis Hammond said. "By offering an affordable, nutritionally balanced lunch option, we hope to serve older adults who otherwise might not be getting their daily nutrition needs met."

Hammond also pointed to the importance of the social part of the meals.

"The opportunity to get out and enjoy a meal with friends and meet new people is so important for many of our older neighbors who live alone or may be somewhat isolated," he said.

Congregate meals are served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with special meals or dinners also included in the new plan. Seniors may pick up a congregate meal form at MAS, 337 Stephens Ave. or at the Senior Center. It may also be downloaded at the MAS website. The form needs to be completed once a year.

The congregate meal partnership with the Senior Center replaces a restaurant voucher program called the Senior Diner Club which MAS previously offered.

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