By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
The Sky Valley Senior Center needs financial assistance in order to continue providing hot lunches to Sky Valley senior citizens. So the organization recently reached out to the city with a plea for help.
For five years, the program has offered a hot lunch Monday through Thursday at the Sky Valley Senior Center located in the VOA building in Sultan. Currently, the lunch program serves approximately 200 seniors per week. The lunches, which are open to the public, include a salad bar, soup line, hot entrée, desserts and beverages.
Sultan resident Ole Carlson presented during a recent city council meeting on behalf of Senior Center Program Manager Bonita Aadland, asking the city for $12,000 to support the program.
“We offer good, home-cooked meals,” said Ole Carlson, reading a letter written by Aadland and Senior Center Board President Marlene Carlson. “For many of our seniors, this is the only hot meal they get every day.”
Ole explained that while nutrition is important, the opportunity for seniors to gather and experience community is equally important, and a valuable aspect of the lunch program.
“Many of our seniors live alone, and the senior center is a place for them to interact with each other,” said Ole.
The senior center is working to expand their services, and they hold monthly fundraisers in an effort to help supplement the lunch program. They recently increased the price of lunch from $3 to $4 to keep the program operating. The soup line is offered free of charge to those who are in need, and they encourage seniors to volunteer at the center in order to help pay for meals they would be otherwise unable to afford.
These efforts aside, the program continues to struggle.
“With the continued rise in the cost of food, we’re finding it impossible to make ends meet,” said Ole Carlson. “Please help us help our seniors, providing financial support for this worthwhile program.”
The lunch is open to the general public and the more people who attend, the more support the program receives. Nonmembers pay $6 rather than $4, and the extra funds help.
The senior center is located at 617 First St. in Sultan. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For information on how to help; contact Bonita Aadland a