BY MARY WICOFF
Senior citizens now have another place to find low-cost meals.
CRIS Healthy-Aging Center has partnered with Provena United Samaritans Medical Center’s cafeteria to offer seniors breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for $2.75.
A grand opening celebration will start at 4 p.m. today at Provena, featuring speakers from the medical center’s nutrition department and CRIS. Dinner will be available to seniors for $2.75. There will be door prizes.
Amy Marchant, chief executive officer at CRIS, said of seniors, “Keeping them healthy starts with nutrition.”
The new program is part of a transition from stand-alone meal sites to having choices at restaurants, she said. Thus, seniors will have more options at Provena’s cafeteria.
Provena is providing the meals as part of its giving back to the community, she said, and will provide the meals at-cost.
CRIS also has partnerships with the Tilton County Market, which serves breakfast, and the Mainstream Cafe in Georgetown, which serves three meals.
In addition, breakfast is offered at CRIS and Laura Lee Fellowship House. In April, CRIS expects to open a meal site at the Multi-Agency in Hoopeston.
The meal sites are subsidized through Older Americans Act funding.
“They’re really nice meals,” Marchant said. She expects seniors to be pleased with the Provena offerings, adding, “I’m confident they’ll say this is the best deal around.”
The Provena/CRIS senior meals will be available at the Provena cafeteria daily with breakfast being served from 6-10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-6:30 p.m. The reduced-priced meals are available to any senior, age 60 and older.
However, participants must register and receive special coupons from CRIS to receive the discounted meals. People also may register at the Provena cafeteria Friday afternoon.
Mike Brown, Provena president and CEO, is among those excited about the new venture.
“We’re happy to be able to provide another low-cost alternative for seniors in our area to get a well-balanced, tasty meal at an affordable price,” he said. “It’s exciting to see our partnership opportunities with CRIS Healthy-Aging Center continue to grow.”
Provena works with CRIS in several ways. A nurse visits CRIS weekly, offering education and blood pressure checks, and speakers go to CRIS a couple of times a month.
Provena also is trying to reduce hospital readmissions through Medicare’s new Community-Based Care Transition, which is being administered by CRIS.
The program, created under the Affordable Care Act, is intended to improve transitions for Medicare patients as they move from the hospital to other health care settings, to avoid complications that might require a repeat hospitalization.
Grand opening for the new senior meal site will be at 4 p.m. today at the Provena United Samaritans Medical Center’s cafeteria. Seating is limited, so call CRIS at 443-2999 to register.