Senior Center adjusts to COVID-19 pandemic

Participation in the Fulton County Senior Center lunch program has increased by more than 10% due to COVID-19, according to Director Sheri Rychener.

The center is currently serving nearly 600 meals per weekday to county seniors. Weekday drive-through lunch service for seniors began in mid-May, and the option has attracted new seniors each week.

“Our kitchen staff continues to work hard to provide nutritious, convenient meals and serve them safely,” said Kyle Wilcoxon, head cook and kitchen manager.

Donations of fresh produce by Archbold Area Schools and the Toledo Area Office on Aging have supplemented seniors’ meals. A recent large delivery of to-go meal trays has equipped the Senior Center to continue to provide weekday drive-through meals as long as necessary.

Rychener said county seniors with transportation are encouraged to make meal reservations and drive through at noon at any of the county’s five senior center locations to pick up a lunch. Sites are located in Wauseon, Archbold, Delta, Fayette, and Swanton. The home-delivery meal program continues for home-bound seniors without transportation.

Meals are available for pick-up at noon, Monday through Friday. Prior reservations are required by calling 419-337-9299. Callers must indicate their preferred site to pick up a meal.

All Fulton County seniors age 60 and over are eligible. The suggested donation per meal is $2 and can be mailed to Fulton County Senior Center, 240 Clinton St., Wauseon, Ohio 43567.

Rychener said the Senior Center staff recognizes local seniors are missing activities and classes. She said the priority of the Fulton County Senior Center staff is to balance the safety of local seniors while finding ways to fulfill socialization needs during restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff members are creating plans to ensure proper safety procedures will be in place when in-person activities resume.

The center is expecting donations of personal protective equipment from the Ohio Department on Aging. All Fulton County Senior Center sites will remain closed to in-building activities at this time in accordance with the directives set by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health.

“We appreciate the understanding and flexibility the community has shown us as we’ve made unexpected changes to our services. We’ve been met with a lot of support and patience,” Rychener said.