REGION — Outreach services are rolling up to where seniors gather.
The Interfaith Community Services Senior Connections Program is housed in a food truck and making weekly stops at mobile home parks and churches in Vista and San Marcos to provide seniors with healthy lunches, social engagement and information on other support services the nonprofit offers.
The Senior Connections Program aims to increase seniors’ food security and wellness, and help them build community.
Dreams for Change runs the food truck as a partner to Interfaith Community Services. The goal is to provide 2,500 meals to 200 seniors during the Senior Connections program’s pilot year that began in November.
“There’s a full menu of healthy, hardy, fresh to order meals,” Greg Anglea, executive director of Interfaith Community Services, said. “It’s a nice draw. The food quality is very good.”
Each week $2 lunches are served. Menu items include grilled chicken salad, chicken street tacos and Philly chicken steaks, served with a side of salad, soup or steamed veggies.
After lunch Interfaith Community Services staff lead a fun, engaging activity.
Last week line dancing got seniors up on their feet to socialize and exercise. Other activities include chair yoga and music and dance performances.
Anglea said combining food, health and outreach services in one stop is beneficial to seniors, and connects them with services they might not have followed up on if offered separately.
He said the weekly stops help isolated seniors build relationships, and gain motivation to take better care of themselves, including recognizing and seeking treatment for acute illnesses earlier.
Anglea added the weekly drive-up services at Vista Village Mobile Home Park and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Vista, and El Dorado Mobile Home Park and San Marcos Lutheran Church in San Marcos are open to all seniors who show up.
The Senior Connections Program is funded by a grant from the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.
Additional services offered by Interfaith Community Services include nutrition support, social services, housing, employment development and addiction recovery.