SHOSHONI, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) –
Some senior citizens who still live at home but aren’t able to do much cooking have relied on meals at the Shoshoni Senior Citizen Center. Consequently, the center knew they had to continue offering meals using some innovation during the Covid closures. The meals have come to mean so much to this community.
Although the senior center kitchen remained open to serve hot meals to the people in the Shoshoni community throughout all the closures, on Monday, March 1st they are finally able to gather together again and enjoy their meals as a community.
Patron of the Shoshoni Senior Citizen Center, Patty Collins stated “We are so excited. Our center closed March 17, 2020 and what a blow to our patrons that they weren’t able to come in and visit with each other. They’ve been so lonely, and this is the best news we have heard in almost a year. It’s wonderful.”
The center realized the importance for the daily nutritional needs for many people that utilized the meals, and knew they had to get creative and continue to provide the meals despite the forced closures. “They’ve been willing to adapt and change with every Covid update that we’ve had,” mentioned Shoshoni Senior Citizen Secretary Treasurer, Hazel Schaefer.
Michelle Shepard, the center director emphasized that it’s “Definitely going to be a learning curve for all of us. We’ve already made a decision that after the first week of being open, we’re going to come back together as a staff, decide where we can improve, how we can change things, make people more comfortable coming in, and being welcome, but yet safe.”
The center will be utilizing daily and sometimes hourly cleaning methods to make sure they keep their doors open to those who need it most. “They are the only meal they eat during the day. They’ll eat here, and then they eat cereal or something for supper, they need this meal,” expressed Mary Lou Fullerton, Vice President of the Shoshoni Senior Citizen Center.
Even though they’ve had the hot meal provided while the center was closed, patrons and staff alike, say they have missed the interaction more than anything. “Terrible on the patrons, they were lonely, they were bored,” recalled Fullerton.
Restrictions being lifted will allow many in the community to reconnect. Fullerton revealed that “They need the social interaction more than anything. Governor Gordon dropped the restrictions enough that we feel we can open, and it’s going to be so great.”
“I’m excited. I think our people will be excited!” exclaimed Schaefer.
“I’ve been telling the patrons, and they are so excited!” added Collins.
The in person meals returning are even more impactful as there is now only one other place in town to pick up a meal, at the Fast Lane gas station and convenience store. Philly’s and Cream in Shoshoni closed down last year, and turned to the food truck business instead. KT’s Grab and Grub has been closed as well but plans to reopen in this spring.
For now the community is excited to have another food option that is available to everyone, not just seniors.
Kathy Soule, who patronizes the Shoshoni Senior Citizen Center’s coffee club, expressed “I think it’s pretty amazing, I think it’s badly needed for the town. Our favorite part is the righteous cinnamon rolls that come out of this wonderful kitchen. That’s done before the regularly scheduled lunch. We always get down here and get them while they’re hot, and take a nice little badly needed break from the interactions of the town, so it’s pretty neat. We definitely look forward to it.”
The meals start on Monday and are offered from 11:30 to 12:30 Monday through Friday, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meals for pickup will continue to be offered.
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