Hospital helps get Meals on Wheels back on the road
Local seniors can count on regular meals again after more than a week without the use of the senior center’s kitchen in Truckee.
Tahoe Forest Hospital staff stepped up to prepare hot, to-go lunches for the Meals on Wheels program, and is also serving senior citizens from the community who arrive for lunch via Dial-A-Ride.
“This is a temporary program until we get re-established,” said Bob Hartsfield, chairman of the board for Sierra Senior Services. “We will probably use the hospital until we can get our dining room open. Hopefully we can open the dining before the kitchen is ready, and bring food in and serve it there.”
Both the kitchen and the dining room at the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments were flooded when frozen pipes burst during the recent cold snap. The kitchen was almost completely destroyed from floor to ceiling, including food and some commercial grade appliances. The dining room floor was saturated and the walls sustained some damage.
“This has been a little experience,” said Lester O’Neil.
O’Neil has lived in the senior apartments for four years and said that he has attended the lunch service nearly every day, if not for the food then just to socialize and meet people.
“I miss my dining room, but it’s going to be a while,” he said. “But in the mean time, this gives us a little outing everyday.”
Construction in the kitchen will likely take three to four months, assuming that there are no issues with the Town of Truckee building department, Hartsfield said.
As far as a secondary kitchen, Sierra Senior Services has been offered the use of the Martis Valley Grille at Northstar-at-Tahoe’s golf course. The option will allow senior service staff to purchase, store and prepare its own food for the Meals on Wheels program.
Due to heath requirements and inspections, it might be another week or so before staff can set up shop, Hartsfield said.