By Emily Bialkowski
This month the Semcac senior dining site is celebrating 40 years of bringing Caledonia’s mature adults together for a great meal, conversation and recreation. The nutrition program not only offers a low-cost, rib-sticking meal, but also allows seniors the opportunity to connect, socialize and access resources.
Senior dining first opened in May 1973 at the Waters Cafe. It remained the meal site until February 1980 when the United Methodist Church became the location.
Sandy Moger is the current site manager and has been for the past 15 years. She is assisted by Ann Kosch and Jan Peterson.
Other site managers have included: Ruth Hahn, Vi Rostvold, Shirley Matzke, Patty Gavin, Lois Sauer and Cathy Myhre.
Kitchen staff have included: Joyce Schroeder, Linda Hajek, Diane Soli, Mark Hosch, Shirley Matzke, Ann Koel, Ruth Ann Dibley, Sandy Moger, Nancy Renk, Joyce Bolduan, Ruth Lemke, Rena Kruse and Marshall Hahn.
The importance of senior dining in the community is great; Gov. Mark Dayton went so far as to proclaim October as Senior Nutrition Month. Roughly 59,000 Minnesotans have been served during the past 40 years by senior dining, with 23,000 volunteers giving time to assist the program.
Semcac Community Action Agency sponsors senior dining in Caledonia and at 59 other locations throughout southeastern Minnesota.
Semcac receives federal and state funding under a contract with the Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging. Local contributions from counties, cities, United Way agencies and business and individual donations, including participant donations, are vital for the program’s continuation, as well.
Anyone age 60 or older can attend, with spouses welcome regardless of age.
Caledonia’s site is open Monday through Friday with the meal served at 11:20 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 308 N. Kingston St. Call 507-725-5330 for more information.