Donna Wright didn’t have to eat a bagel at home for lunch on Monday, something she’s found herself doing all too often lately.
Area seniors gathered for the first time on Monday at the Rock River Center in Oregon for Lifescape’s senior dining program.
Lifescape works in partnership with senior centers, churches, high rises, and restaurants to offer multiple dining sites in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, and Lee Counties. There used to be a congregate meal site at Fiesta Palace in Mt. Morris, but the restaurant closed down.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Wright said. “They closed that place in Mt. Morris. I used to go there for breakfast probably three days a week.”
Darlene Raney and her husband, Doug, of Oregon were in attendance for lunch. The couple said they have missed having a location like it. They used to attend the Mt. Morris location quite a bit. They plan to come to the center at least once or twice a week going forward.
“We’ve eaten at home more,” Darlene Raney said. “We would just have a sandwich. Something less nutritious than here. It’s a very reasonable price. It’s a suggested donation.”
The meals are free. The suggested donation is usually around $2 or $3.
Lifescape brings the food to the Rock River Center and serves it there. Lifescape Executive Director Mike Hughes hopes as many people that could use them come in for meals in the future.
“I think it’s definitely needed,” Raney said. “But I think it’s going to take a while to build it back up because they haven’t had it. People have been so disappointed not having it and they’ve gotten out of the habit of using it and wanting to use it.”
Lifescape and the Rock River Center plan to continue to try to get the word out to get seniors out of their homes to get active and socialize to stay in good health.
“To me, it’s a home run for both of our organizations,” Hughes said.
Lifescape will be serving meals at Rock River Center Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to noon.
Participants must be 60 or older or accompanied by a spouse who is 60 or older. Interested participants need to call and make reservations by 10:00 am the day before they intend on eating at the Rock River Center. To schedule a reservation, call (815) 963-1609 and let Lifescape know the days you plan on dining.
Once scheduled participants show up on their scheduled day between 11:30 am and noon to enjoy their meal. Rock River Center offers transportation within Ogle County. Participants can schedule a ride to their meal by calling Rock River Center at (815) 732-3252 at least 24-hours in advance.
Rock River Center has a regularly scheduled potluck luncheons on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. Also, The Etnyre Foundation sponsors free food Friday the first Friday of every month. The Rock River Center will not host Congregate dining on the potluck days or free food Fridays.
For January and February there will be not congregate dining at Rock Rover Center on the following days: Jan. 3, 14, 22, and 28 and Feb. 7, 11, 17 (closed for President’s Day), and 25.
The Rock River Center is located at 810 S. 10th St. in Oregon.