The California Nutrition Center hosted a spaghetti dinner/open house Sunday, March 11. Janice Claas, county services coordinator for the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, said the meal has been held annually as a way for the center to show appreciation to the community for supporting them over the year.
"California is a very supportive community," Claas said, "not just with our program, but with many other programs throughout the community."
Claas said the center is for seniors over 60 years old to eat and have a place to socialize. Monday through Friday the center serves soup at 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The meals are offered for only a donation to seniors. While many think the meals are based on income, Claas said that is not the case.
"It is not based on income," she said, "you can make a donation towards the meal. For those who cannot make it for the meal, we also have home delivery. The center is just a good opportunity for people to get out and we have many who come and stay in the afternoon. They come and get a nutritious meal and can socialize and interact with people too."
Claas added keeping busy usually helps keep people healthy and their mind alert. The center also offers several opportunities for those wishing to volunteer to do so. While the agency helps fund the meals, throughout the month the center also holds dances, jam sessions and fish fries which help offset the cost of bills. Claas said the events are a good opportunity for people to come out and have a good time.
Tina Barbour, center administrator for the California/Tipton Nutrition Centers, said California is a great community which pulls together to help programs like the center which is a great service for seniors.
"It is a great service because it gets seniors out with other people," Barbour said, "plus it is a good nutritious meal. A lot of them otherwise would not be able to get that at home. A lot of the older men who do not have a spouse any longer do not know how to cook. It is gives them a good meal and gives them a way to get out."
Daily activities at the center include fast exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with slower exercises on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Seniors come before the meals and stay after playing cards, quilting, working on puzzles and visiting.
The California Nutrition Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is located at 107 West Versailles. For more information, call 573-796-4240.
"If someone has never been to the center and is over 60 years old," Claas said, "I would encourage them to come out, bring a friend and see what we have to offer. Once again we are not income-based, but are based on age. So you are welcome to come out and enjoy good meals with us.