Church serves seniors meals with a side of socializing

Home-cooked meals have a way of bringing people closer. Whether it’s a zesty side salad or a freshly baked roll with a hearty soup, it’s difficult to compare this type of lunch with a grab-and-go meal from a fast-food restaurant.

For seniors, such meals are especially important, not just for their nutritional aspects but for the doors they open to socialization.

That is why Lutheran Social Services of Nevada recently expanded its senior meals program. Seniors, their spouses and caregivers, as well as disabled people who live in senior housing across the Las Vegas Valley, can get free meals from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 6670 W. Cheyenne Ave.

“Our senior population is a growing demographic in our community,” said Kim Fiore, client nutrition services manager at Lutheran Social Services of Nevada. “With this growth has come a growth in the number of seniors who experience isolation, abandonment, homelessness and an increasing dependence on others. Without support, our seniors often are at risk of loneliness, depression, and poor nutrition for health. A meal program such as this provides them with nutritional support not only for their bodies but for their minds and emotions.”

Meals are free for seniors 60 or older, and those younger than 60 can dine for a suggested $5 donation.

The menu changes daily, but it always includes a certain amount of protein, three servings of fruits and vegetables and low-fat milk. All meals are prepared by the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas.

Lead chef Jon Stokes of the Academy said that he primarily creates these meals by utilizing a 12-ounce formula that consists of 4 ounces of protein, 4 ounces of starch and 4 ounces of vegetables, fruits and juice or milk.

“We create meals that meet the state nutritional guidelines provided by the Aging and Disability Services Division, which requires proteins, fruits, vegetables and milk,” Stokes said. “For example, yesterday’s menu consisted of beef stew, with vegetables and potatoes over a bed of noodles served with a buttermilk biscuit, a small mixed green salad with low-fat dressing and a banana, with choice of juice or milk. This is one of many hearty and filling meals that meet the needs of the seniors who depend on this convenient and affordable meal to stretch their fixed income and meal preparation abilities.”

Participants at a lunch gathering on March 4 laughed and talked as they went back for seconds.

“What’s not to like about it? I’m surrounded by girls all the time, and I like the food,” said Abraham Amaya, 62. “The taste is fresh and part of a balanced diet.”

Ruby Nell Collins, 86, agreed, though her decision isn’t solely based on the greater female-to-male ratio.

“My husband passed away 16 years ago, and everyone at the church and at this program has become like a family to me,” Collins said. “We’re so blessed to have this program here. The food is delicious, and everyone is grateful to be here eating and laughing together.”

The program began last February at Reformation Lutheran Church, 580 E. St. Louis Ave., while Holy Spirit began serving meals in October. In December, Reformation served 543 meals, and Holy Spirit served 190. More than 320 valley seniors are registered diners; many come to eat more than once a week. Lutheran Social Services of Nevada hopes to expand the program to at least one more site this year.

The program is funded by a grant from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division.

“As a chef, seeing people enjoy the food that you have prepared or helped prepare is the most gratifying feeling,” Stokes said. “It is a testament that you can change the lives of people with food. The meals provided bring these seniors together, not only to enjoy a meal, but it also builds friendship and comradely.”

Visit or call 702-639-1730 or 702-645-1777.

To reach North View reporter Sandy Lopez, email or call 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.

Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like