~by Linda Ross for Elderserve
The Elderserve board is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the incorporation of Elderserve Inc, the non-profit organization that subcontracts with Elderbridge to serve congregate meals and Meals on Wheels in Greene County. The official incorporation date is May 26, 1979.
That began of the process to bring Congregate meals and Meals on Wheels to Greene County to provide seniors with nutritious meals and a gathering place for programs and activities.
The first meals were served at the Jefferson Elks Lodge and within a few months they were moved to the Civic Center, a city-owned home formerly known as the Women’s Club. (Prior to Elderserve the churches had been serving meals there on a rotation basis). The incorporation of Elderserve was important because it assured the continuance of programs for seniors that the former Women’s Club had begun.
Most of the meals in the early years were prepared by the staff at the Jefferson Manor and delivered to the meal site by the Jefferson police, Manor staff and sometimes WITS drivers. Meals were served on Tuesday and Thursday. Monthly they served about 200 meals.
When home delivery of meals began, the local support of volunteers was vital. Today many churches, organizations and clubs, and individuals do the delivering. Meals are taken to Churdan, Grand Junction and Scranton as well as Jefferson.
From the beginning there have been many who meet to play cards and dominos, for Bible study, exercise or various nutrition programs
In 1983 the program was incorporated into the plans for a senior center at Greenewood. Jacque Andrew remembers her mother-in-law Alice Ann excitedly selecting and choosing the items to stock the new kitchen.
Now with their own kitchen the program expanded to serve five days a week with the option of a Saturday meal delivered on Friday. Now an average of 1,900 meals are served monthly.
The board of Elderserve the numerous volunteers for delivering the meals and the Greene County Community Foundation for a recent grant to purchase new dining tables and much needed delivery and kitchen items.
Current staff are site manager Amy Becker, head cook Gladys Taylor, and assistant cook Jenny Davis. Current board members are Linda Ross, Harvey Swartz, Kathy King, Mickey Starr, Diane Jackson, Terry Miller, Pat Miller, Sharon Stoline, Esther Kirby, Bill Allen and Jan Scharingson.
Past board members are Les Siglin, Cherry Davis, James Averill, Karen Rush, Waneta Dixon, Anna Lawson and Dr E.G. Baker.