News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Senior lunches return to Sisters

COVID-19 put many local happenings on hold for a long time, one of those being the Tuesday senior lunches sponsored by the Central Oregon Council on Aging at Sisters Community Church. Those in-person lunches have started up again, and the organizers hope to see many familiar and new faces on Tuesdays. Prior to COVID-19, they regularly had about seven tables filled for lunch, and their restart has been a little slow.

The meals are appreciated by those who participate, as evidenced by the comment made by Gaylene Craven on her way out the door.

“That’s the best roast beef I’ve had in a long time,” she said about the pot roast served.

The participants who were there on August 23 indicated the main reason they come each week is for the socializing and relationships formed with other people. So many felt isolated during the pandemic, and they said it is good to be back in face-to-face interaction. They also enjoy the variety of activities and entertainment.

A luau was planned for Tuesday, August 30, complete with leis provided for everyone and music by the Sisters Ukulele Group, as well as food, games, and prizes. Several weeks ago, summer campers from SPRD came and shared their artwork with the seniors. Jan Hodgers of the Three Sisters Historical Society and Sisters Museum was a recent visitor and talked about the history of the Camp Polk Cemetery, which everyone found fascinating.

Attendees are welcome to arrive at the church, which is located at 1300 McKenzie Hwy., at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays for socializing and coffee. At 11:30 a.m. there may be an activity like chair exercise or entertainment by a local group. Lunch, which is free of charge, is served at noon by community volunteers. The healthy meals are prepared by chefs in Bend and transported to Sisters.

A grab-and-go lunch program was started during COVID, when congregate meals were not possible; that is still available at the church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. Seniors, or those doing pickup for them, can walk up or drive up in front of the church to receive a meal and a carton of milk. This program is also free of charge and does not require a reservation or order.

Participants can get a ride to the meal site and home again with Cascades East Transit. A ride can be arranged by calling 541-385-8680, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., at least 24 hours in advance.

Meals have been provided by the Council on Aging to Sisters seniors for 30 years, with the program hosted in numerous local churches over the years. Volunteers are always appreciated for setup, serving, and cleanup. Sign up by calling the Central Oregon Council on Aging office at 541-678-5483. The meal site manager is Emily Wells, and the director of communications and programs is Emma Fried-Cassorla.


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