The Ulster County Office for Aging has Food
The Ulster County Office for Aging is interested in providing meals and nutritional counseling to seniors in Woodstock and may coordinate with town programming.
While seniors in town can have prepared meals delivered, the program offered at Woodstock is geared towards group dining. “The goal is to get them to the site to eat together, not just to bring home meals. Normally, we would much prefer people to eat together every day, ”Susan Koppenhaver, director of the Office of Aging, told Woodstock City Council at its Dec. 21 business meeting. “The way it works is that people register, fill out an application, and if they meet certain income requirements, they don’t have to pay anything; or we ask them to donate $ 3… Most people don’t have to pay, and they get one-third of their recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals and protein and whatever they need.
Meals are provided by Gateway Industries and someone should be on hand to reheat and serve them, she said.
“We sort of monitor what’s going on and present them with information. Nutritionists can come. A dietitian can come and educate. We come in and talk about our services. We can send people from our office to talk about our services to people who may not be familiar with them and who could certainly qualify. “
Koppenhaver said it typically takes around 45 minutes to prepare food and 30 minutes to reheat, then 30 minutes for people to eat and 15 minutes each for set-up and clean-up.
“When we start a new site, we try once a week and see how it goes, and if people are interested, we can add a second,” she said.
While COVID has made it difficult for people to meet and eat in person, Koppenhaver noted that observation and socialization are important. “We certainly strongly encourage people to get vaccinated, they have to wear a mask at all times except when they are eating, and they don’t really hang out for much,” Koppenhaver said.
She said based on the cost of meals and other expenses, she would prefer not to pay rent for the use of the community center, which supervisor Bill McKenna said could be waived.
City Councilor Laura Ricci suggested a six-month pilot.
“So if we all think it’s working really well, we can move on. If someone thinks it’s not working, we don’t have to continue, ”Ricci said.
McKenna asked city council to think about the proposal and get a response from Koppenhaver by the New Year. Something could be set up at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center after coordinating schedules, McKenna said.
“We have senior programs, so maybe we can move you to one of the programs,” he said.