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Seniors offered $2 ride, $2 meal

Over the years, several seniors who lack transportation have said to me, “I would come to the Center on the van, but I can’t (or don’t like to) get up early enough to ride the van.” Currently, the NET Trans schedule requires seniors to be ready for pickup before 7 a.m. Many have also told me they would like to come and eat lunch occasionally, but they don’t want to spend half a day at the Center. Now there is a reasonable option that I hope many people will consider.

For $2, persons who live within the Erwin town limits can call 461-8288 and arrange for the NET Trans CONNEX bus to pick them up, with reasonable advance notice of about an hour, and arrive at the Center in time to attend special mid-morning programs; use fitness equipment; play billiards or other games; use the Computer Lab; attend Tuesday Sing-a-Long and devotions; or just sit and talk with other seniors until lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. After lunch, which is on a donation basis for persons 60 or over (recommended amount is $2 per meal), seniors may ride home free on a NET Trans van with ticket provided by the senior center through federal grant funding. I’m excited about this opportunity for late arrival because it has never been an option before now.

Many seniors need an opportunity to spend some time with other people in a casual setting and need the nourishment of a hot meal. This offers both. One of our staff can provide anyone who is interested with a list of menus for the entire month. Then the person can select a day when the menu sounds pleasing and make a meal reservation three days in advance. I can personally vouch for the fact that the meals are greatly improved over the past year. FTHRA, the agency that provides food for the congregate lunch and the Meals on Wheels program, has made many changes in recent months to improve menus and food quality. The $2 CONNEX fee is a firm rate; however, a person age 60 or over can contribute any amount less than $2 toward the meal because it is provided through FTHRA with federal funding through the Older Americans Act. An added bonus is the opportunity, for any who wish, to shop at the Food Lion center on Tuesdays or Walmart on Thursdays on the way home. The senior center also provides free tickets for those extra stops. Where else can a person get a deal like this – a $2 fare to the senior center, a nutritious lunch for a donation and a free ride home with an option to shop?

For additional information, visit the senior center at 220 Union St., Erwin, or call 743-5111, Monday
through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Writer: Charlene O'Dell