Senior lunch program back on track

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By Jimmie Earls

It’s no secret that the senior lunch program at the Springfield Senior Citizen Center is a success. With dozens of elderly and disabled county residents taking advantage of the low-cost meals every Monday through Friday, the program depends on every link in the chain to operate smoothly. So when a recent kink formed in that chain, things came grinding to a halt, and it took some fast action to get the wheels turning again.

Until a few weeks ago, the lunches were supplied by Cedarwood Restaurant in Lebanon. The establishment was granted a contract by the Lincoln Trail Area Development District through Central Kentucky Community Action, which is in charge of hiring the food preparers.

Although Cedarwood met all health requirements for the state health department, Lincoln Trail’s Aging Council has a completely different set of criteria which must be met. Cedarwood still has a current contract through Community Action to provide meals for the Peppermint Tree daycare in Springfield.

Lincoln Trail has strict guidelines for the nutritional content of the food, and when an inspection revealed that those requirements were not being met, the contract was canceled. The end result was that for nearly a week, dozens of seniors in Washington County were not receiving hot lunches.

“What really upset me is that they went six days with brown bag lunches and nobody contacted me,” said Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles. “I never heard from the senior center, not from Community Action and not from Lincoln Trail. After they did contact me, I made some phone calls because they deserve to have their hot lunches.”

A temporary solution came about when Parkview IGA in Springfield was allowed to provide lunches while a permanent fix was sought. The store has been furnished with a book of state guidelines which includes recipes for all of the food provided to the senior center. Even though Parkview IGA still prepares food for their regular customers, the food provided to seniors must be prepared separately according to the recipes provided by Lincoln Trail.

For more information about the senior lunch program, call (859) 336-0909.

See the complete story in this week's print edition of The Springfield Sun!