Serving more than Healthy Meals to Seniors

September 25, 2013

James is a new senior resident at one of downtown San Diego’s single room occupancy hotels. James is new in San Diego and has no family or friends nearby. The small room is equipped with a twin bed and a tiny sink; bathrooms are shared with other hotel residents. Paying for the hotel room to avoid living on the streets is about all that James can afford.

James found out about Senior Community Centers home delivered meals program through other hotel residents and called to sign up as well. Kimberly, one of our home delivered meals drivers, came by the next day with a hot and nutritious lunch as well as breakfast for the next day. On Fridays, our drivers deliver breakfast and lunch for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, James had to decline the meals because he could not store or heat up the food.

Letting one of our clients go hungry for an entire weekend – and many other weekends to follow – is not an option.  Senior Community Centers’ Food Service Director took extra ordinary measures and discovered a small fridge and a microwave in working condition in our limited storage space.

James was very grateful and surprised when Kimberly delivered a fridge and microwave along with fresh meals during her next visit! We sure made his day and are excited to know that James has access to healthy food seven days a week.

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Find out more about our Home Delivered Meals Program at www.servingseniors.org.


Picture of the Month: City Council President Todd Gloria Serves Lunch

August 30, 2013

Todd Gloria

San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and his team served lunch at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center this month. While seniors always feel honored to greet and chat with Mr. Gloria, Violet was especially excited about her special birthday experience!

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Want to serve lunch and put big smiles on our seniors’ faces? Visit www.servingseniors.org and find out How to Help!


San Diego Seniors Personally Thank Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52)

June 10, 2013

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) has made a bold statement and continues to advocate that across-the-board spending cuts are unwise: “The rules Congress imposes on others should apply to us too.”

IMG_2408pRep. Peters announced that he will take eight percent of his Congressional salary, which equates to about $1,300 per month, and donate it to Senior Community Centers to supplement meals for at-risk seniors. There is no proof that cutting funds to senior nutrition programs saves tax dollars.  On the contrary, evidence shows that providing seniors nutritionally balanced meals keeps them healthy, independent, and significantly reduces healthcare costs on the taxpayer.

Today, Rep. Peters had the opportunity to meet the beneficiaries of his exemplary gesture of support. He was welcomed at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center with a roar of applause and received genuine handshakes and words of thanks while he served lunch to the seniors.

Senior Community Centers and thousands of San Diego seniors like the ones seen in the video clip below once again say “Thank You, Congressman Scott Peters”!


Lawyers Reach Out: Serving More Than Just Lunch

June 7, 2013

Delivering Food And Smiles to Local Seniors

Guest Blogger: Carra Lassman Rhamy, Senior Deputy County Counsel, San Diego County Counsel (carra.rhamy@sdcounty.ca.gov)

For me, few things these days rival the sense of accomplishment gained from winning a motion or trial – though the experience of serving a hot lunch to a grateful senior comes close. I have done a variety of volunteer work in my life, but this is the first time I did this event. I hope it is not my last.

20130319-_M3A6423Usually I work through my lunches or, if I’m lucky, I take a walk outside to get some exercise. But when the invitation came to volunteer by serving lunch to seniors, I thought I’d give it a try. I met up with a small group of judges and attorneys at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. We donned our plastic aprons and gloves, and were ready for our assignments. […]

As for the seniors we served, they were wonderful. When we were all assembled and introduced they applauded us before we even started. They were so gracious and thanked us each time we placed or removed a tray. I could tell that for many of them it was going to be the best meal of their day and maybe the only hot one. As I traversed the room doing my assignment I was impressed with the variety of ethnicities I observed and languages I heard. The years of experience I saw in their faces made me feel humble – a feeling that can be uncommon for an attorney. I was very proud to serve them.

It was a very meaningful experience because it brought me pleasure to be able to help someone in such a basic way. I highly recommend it-and not just because I got to see male judges wearing hairnets. It was extremely rewarding and invigorating. When I returned to my desk that afternoon I knew that, even if I had not finished a winning brief, I had accomplished something even more valuable that day.

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This story appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of San Diego Lawyer. It is posted with the permission of the San Diego County Bar Association. Photo Credit: Barry Carlton.

It is always a pleasure to read about the positive experiences that our volunteers create for themselves and for the seniors we serve at Senior Community CentersThank you, Ms. Rhamy, for volunteering and for sharing your thoughts about the event!



Debt-Free on our 3rd Anniversary of the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center Opening

April 19, 2013

April 22, 2013 marks the third anniversary of opening the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.  Senior Community Centers staff, the Gary and Mary West Foundation and over 200 seniors gathered throughout the building to celebrate this home away from home.

Seniors took the stage to express their heartfelt gratitude towards Gary and Mary West as well as Senior Community Centers staff. The Dining Room, hallways and Gathering Place vibrated with positive energy and applause when I had the distinct pleasure of announcing that as of April 18, 2013, we are the proud owners of the building! Thanks to very generous supporters, we officially paid off all debt we incurred to build the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center.

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(Click the picture to view a short slideshow of the event)

Every day 600+ low-income seniors from all over San Diego come through our doors. The Center is home, a place where they receive companionship, support and healthy meals. Seniors feel safe because we have a zero tolerance against discrimination of any kind. I’ll leave you with a few widely-echoed sentiments that seniors said at the birthday party:

“I love coming to the Center. You treat less fortunate people with such respect that I feel human again.” ~Marcello

“I come here every day at 11 for lunch and then I stay for the afternoon activities. Everybody is so nice.” ~Lisa, 89



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