Oceanside has found a new organization to continue providing meals to seniors after the organization that previously did so folded.
Serving Seniors, a San Diego-based nonprofit that provides nutrition, housing, social and other supportive services to older adults living in poverty, took over the meal program in Oceanside on Jan. 2.
The Oceanside Senior Citizens Association, the program’s previous provider, ended operations on Dec. 28.
According to Luke Dumas, director of development for Serving Seniors, the city approached the organization about filling the gap in services once Oceanside Senior Citizens Association was gone to ensure meals continued.
Like before, Serving Seniors prepares and provides meals at the Country Club Senior Center where seniors can gather, and also provides meal deliveries to seniors who are homebound.
Dumas said Serving Seniors hired the previous staff when they took over operations.
According to Dianne Sanders, food service director for Serving Seniors, there are currently four staff members: two delivery drivers, a food service worker and a manager.
Previously, shuttle services were also offered through the program but those services will be placed on hold while Serving Seniors searches for a shuttle driver.
“Most people won’t notice a difference other than a little change in the food,” said Mark Olson, manager of Oceanside’s Parks and Recreation Division.
Olson said the city subcontracted with Serving Seniors to ensure there wasn’t a gap in meal services.
Dumas said the county funds the program’s “nutritious meals,” and noted the organization works with a registered dietician to make sure all the nutrition guidelines are met. The food is prepared daily and served fresh, he added.
The contract is temporary and provides funds through June 30. After that, Olson explained, the county will select an organization to be the program’s contractor.
Meals are served Monday through Friday beginning at 11:15 a.m. at the senior center, and home meals are delivered starting around 9 a.m., taking a few hours to complete.
Sanders said approximately 40 meals are served at the congregate meals and 100 meals are delivered to seniors’ homes daily, and 75 weekend meals are delivered on Fridays.