BY KIM HUGHES –
Every year as finances get tighter, people and businesses are looking for ways of saving money and stretching what money they do have to make ends meet. Did you know if you are 60 years old or older, you can get a healthy meal at the Mena/Polk County Senior Center for only a suggested donation of $3.00? And, if you are not able to pay that, you can still get the meals. They are reimbursed based on how many people they serve, not just the money they take in. So, it helps you and it helps them.
The suggested donation price was recently raised from $2.00 to $3.00 because of budget cuts they received. They have a small, well-trained staff to run the center, but they also rely on volunteers to help with various jobs. These volunteers are not paid, but work there because they care about the seniors that frequent the center.
New people in the area sometimes mistake the large modern building as an assisted living facility, but that is not the case. There are lots of services, other than the 11:30 daily meals from Monday through Friday, which are offered at the center. Things like flu shots, educational programs, and even the Silver Sneakers exercise program is offered free to those on Medicare.
The center has a large dining room that can seat 250 people that can also be used for other meetings. Another smaller meeting room is on the opposite end of the building, along with a pool table that is usually well used. A free library is also housed in the building.
For those homebound, home delivery meals are also available. These meals are delivered daily and frozen meals are provided for weekends and holidays when the center is closed.
The Mena/Polk County Senior Center is located just off Racetrack Road at 401 Autumn Drive and is open from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. If you would like more information about the many services provided by the center, call the director Sara Holliday at 479-394-5459.