Oct 22, 2014

by Sonja Alcock

Coming together for a meal is a common occurrence. Often the first date for a new budding couple is dinner and a movie - sharing time together in order to get to know one another better. This sometimes leads to more dates, more meals, partnering together for life “until death do us part”. And once that “parting” happens, often the one left behind is left with trying to cope with life without their mate….the one for whom they either cooked, or was lovingly cooked for. I know that when my husband is not home, I seldom cook a full meal. And I know that when I’m away, he will eat hot dogs only! Not healthy meals at all - not like what I would have made for us every day.

The same is true for widows/widowers/single elderly or older couples. Why bother cooking something that takes time just for only one person to eat. We often fall into that “Tea & Toast Syndrome”. So coming together with others during the week to enjoy not only a healthy meal, but a wonderful social interaction is a benefit to the well being of every senior, whether still married or single. This is the time when friendships are made; when others learn to care for one another in a deeper way; where contacts are made. Here is when we learn the ups and downs of each other’s lives, and often what illnesses are happening so they can “take care of each other”. “How is your chest cold today, Eddie?” “Did you see the doctor last week for your checkup?” Basically keeping tabs on one another.

Congregate Dining is happening all around us every day. Inviting someone over to lunch, dinner - or meeting somewhere for coffee. And here in the Land O’ Lakes area, Land O’ Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) provide two programs for seniors to come together for food and friendship: every Tuesday in Flinton, and every first Monday of the month in Denbigh. A time where friends meet to play games, exercise and then have a great meal cooked by loving volunteers who make nutritional meals that not only consider the health of each person, but taste buds as well!

I met a woman in the grocery store a few weeks back who is a volunteer cook. There was a sale on butter and she was there buying as much as she could because she wanted to make the best tasting meal for those she cooks for. Her devotion speaks volumes to me. There are 14 volunteer cooks with LOLCS Diner’s Club and Adult Drop In, serving 50+ people in Denbigh, and 80+ people in Flinton. Other volunteers plan menus, shop, cook, serve, clean up and lead exercises. Without our many volunteers, LOLCS would not be able to make this wonderful program function as well as it does. Knowing this means that you will be with people with loving and caring hearts. If you are interested in participating in these wonderful programs, but do not know how to go about it, please contact Pam Lemke at 613-336-8934, ext 229 at the LOLCS office in Northbrook or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Adult Drop-In meets every Tuesday at the Flinton Hall in Flinton. It is a wonderful opportunity for social time, mild music & card games or just visiting with others. Begins at 9:30 a.m. with a hot, nutritious lunch prepared and served by volunteers. Cost is only $7 for the meal. And you are more than welcome to come just for the social time without having the meal at no cost at all except gaining a friendship.

Denbigh Diners Club meets in Denbigh at the Community Centre on the first Monday of every month, except when it’s a holiday; then it’s the following Monday. Once again the cost is only $7 for the meal.

Gift Certificates are available for the above at the LOLCS office in Northbrook.

If you are unable to attend because of transportation issues, LOLCS has that covered too, so please call and let them help you make some new friends for life.

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