Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Lucette Moramarco
Associate Editor 

Lunch for seniors is more than just food


Last updated 10/29/2018 at 7:16pm

Local seniors who have retired from cooking can frequently be seen eating out, at restaurants, at club fundraisers and at the Fallbrook Community Center where Fallbrook Senior Center staff serve lunch at 11:15 a.m., Monday through Friday.

The meals are geared nutritionally for people over 60 years old and a $4 donation for the meal is requested, but those who cannot afford to pay are not turned away. Diners who are under 60 are welcome to come eat but are required to pay $5, which is still a bargain for a full lunch including beverages (milk, coffee or juice) and dessert.

Many of the seniors eat there often enough that the staff and volunteers who serve the meal know them by name. The social interaction at these meals is another benefit for those who live alone.

Residents as young as 50 can become members of the Fallbrook Senior Center (also known as the Fallbrook Senior Citizens Service Club) and the fee is only $15 a year. On the second Thursday of the month, senior center members who have a birthday or anniversary that month are recognized. The tables are specially decorated for the occasion too.

This month’s birthday lunch was on Oct. 11 with a Halloween theme. Each lunch starts with a green salad that includes chunks of cucumber and tomato, purple cabbage and garbanzo beans. While they do not offer a salad bar anymore, the staff does have a few other options, including beet slices, that they will add to one’s salad plate when requested, along with a roll. There are also four salad dressings to choose from.

The birthday menu featured roast beef in a tasty, but not salty, brown gravy and mashed red-skin potatoes accompanied by green beans. The plateful is enough to satisfy hungry diners, but not all seniors can eat that much. So, some of them do bring their own containers to put leftovers in and take home.

On the monthly menu, each lunch ends with dessert/fruit; birthday lunches include a birthday cake donated by a local business. October’s half chocolate/half white cake was served courtesy of Carlos Perez of Quality and Affordable Home Care, who attended the lunch with his wife.

Like the rest of lunch, the cake was delicious! To top it off, longtime resident Bud Roberds played a snazzy rendition of “Happy Birthday” on the piano for the occasion after playing oldies but goodies prior to the serving of the cake.

The lunch is usually served in the main hall; on Oct. 11, the tables had been pushed back to the western side of the hall because of work going on up on the roof. Susie Gonsalves, the senior center’s operating manager, let everyone know that the main hall was going to be unavailable for two weeks due to the repair work. Starting on Oct. 12, diners were to use the entrance at the other side of the building as lunch would be served in the north room in the meantime.

Gonsalves said they serve an average of 42 lunches a day although there were almost 60 people attending the birthday lunch. The same meals, minus the beverage, are also served in the center’s Home Delivered Meals Program with 60 meals a day delivered to homebound seniors.

The menu for October’s lunch shows a wide variety of food being served, from stuffed cabbage and lasagna to beef fajitas and Swedish meatballs. Some kind of fish or seafood is served on Fridays; upcoming options this month are baked fish with lemon, quinoa, baked yams on Oct. 18 and fish and chips with peas, Oct. 25, both with salad and dessert/fruit. The Halloween lunch sounds good: split pea soup, turkey sandwich and broccoli.

Menus are subject to change without notice but it is comforting to know that there is someplace seniors can go where everyone knows their name.


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