Linda began accessing Community Health Network’s Touchpoint À la Carte Senior Meal Program a few years after her retirement. The program offers individuals age 60 or older the opportunity to receive four free meal vouchers per month that can be used at designated Community hospital cafeterias for healthy food at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Linda quickly realized the program offered more than a nutritious meal—it also offered much-needed social interaction.
“I look forward to seeing the people and making connections,” she said. “For some of these people, it might be the only social interaction they get.”
Linda, who lost her husband in 2016, does not cook often, so the program allows her to access healthy meals instead of eating at local fast food restaurants. And Community’s cafeteria staff further enhances her experience.
“They always have a smile on their faces,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who you are – they treat everyone with the utmost respect.”
Linda says that friends tell other friends about the program, which has helped it grow to help more seniors. However, in recent months, she’s noticed an even greater increase in the number of seniors being helped.
“The need must be getting greater,” she said. “I’m seeing more and more new faces. As seniors, we need this program, especially for those in financial need—a lot of seniors are facing high medical bills and costly prescription medicine.”
In January of 2017, Linda suffered a house fire that caused damage in her kitchen and bedroom. The Touchpoint À la Carte Senior Meal Program was there for her, offering a warm meal and friendly setting.
“Not only does this program help provide healthy meals and healthy encounters with others, but these social interactions do a great deal for our mental health,” she said.
Linda knows that without the generosity of donors to Community Health Network Foundation, the Senior Meal Program would not exist.
“I would be so sad without it,” she said. “This programs offers us so much, and I am personally very grateful to those who make it possible.”
When she is able, Linda tries to pay it forward, offering a few dollars here and there to help support this critical program that has provided her with invaluable compassion, nutritious food and genuine fellowship over the years.