Catholic Charities Senior Dining is continuing the Senior Dining Frozen Meal Expansion Project in 2021, with meals being made available at several locations across Central Minnesota in January, including North Branch on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Ruby’s Pantry, 4359 392nd St, along with Rush City on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
The Senior Dining Frozen Meal Expansion Project started in August and additional locations are continually being added. Visit ccstcloud.org/events for the most up-to-date information. The project is partially funded under a contract with the Central Minnesota Council on Aging as part of the Older Americans Act.
In November Catholic Charities was awarded the Minnesota Department of Human Services Circle of Excellence award, which recognizes six organizations that have partnered with DHS and done an exemplary job of providing food, shelter and other assistance to Minnesotans in need.
The award recognizes that Catholic Charities has had to change its model for providing low-cost nutritious meal options for older adults in Central Minnesota during the pandemic. By incorporating frozen foods, developing pop-up sites and partnering with food shelves, the Senior Dining program more than tripled its capacity and has been able to prepare and deliver about 91,000 meals per month, which is up from 26,000 meals a month in 2019.
Meals are available in quantities of 10, up to 30 per calendar month. Participants must be 60 years of age and older to be eligible, and all clients must complete an annual registration form. There is no cost to participate; however, donations will be accepted.
Catholic Charities Senior Dining sites have been providing seniors with food during the COVID-19 pandemic with modified quarantine practices. Recognizing that seniors who live in rural communities have limited opportunities for food support, Catholic Charities Senior Dining is partnering with several Central Minnesota locations to offer our frozen meals to pick up in a no-contact, drive-through format.