LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) – The Angelina County Senior Citizens Center is one of many locations in East Texas that provides congregate meals.
According to the center’s Executive Director, Wendy Brandenburg, they provide these meals where seniors can come into the building to eat and enjoy a hot meal, Monday through Friday.
From 8 am to 4 pm, these congregate meals are available for anyone in the community over the age of 60.
“In addition, we also have activities that promote fellowships, socialization, and communication among the elder population,” Brandenburg says. “We offer different classes like an exercise class, crafting classes, reading library, an essential oils class. We also have gospel music every Friday.”
The program provides a wholesome meal in a community setting.
According to the US Census Bureau—Texas’ aging population of individuals age 60 and older continues to grow, but participation in the congregate meal program is declining.
“One of the main reasons that we do what we do is to make sure that they have a healthy meal that they can count on every single day. Sometimes, this may be the only hot cooked meal that some of our people get,” Brandenburg says.
Brandenburg explains that nutrition and well-balanced meals are so important for senior citizens because they have to keep their strength up.
“We provide a good, nutritious meal. We have vegetables and a meat portion. Everything is portioned out and we follow dietary guidelines that we are given to make sure they have that.”
If you know someone that is interested in receiving congregate meals, it is a simple process. You fill out a packet, get added to the waiting list…
“And then, they come to the senior center,” Brandenburg says. “They will start opening up, meeting people and build. It’s like an extended family.”