Special to the Vanguard
Meals on Wheels Yolo County’s Winters Senior Nutrition Center, more than doubling the organization’s meal production capacity countywide, launches this Thursday, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. with a Grand Opening celebration. The event is free and open to the public, with no RSVP required. The facility is located at 111 Main Street, Winters, formerly the Buckhorn Restaurant’s catering operation.
“This meal production kitchen amplifies senior nutrition in Yolo County,” stated Joy Cohan, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Yolo County. “Once this kitchen’s current capabilities are maximized, we’ll be able to nourish as many as 1,700 seniors countywide, and, over time, a full build-out of this facility could provide for at least 2,600 food insecure aging adults in Yolo County.”
Currently, Meals on Wheels Yolo County provides five nutritious, freshly prepared hot or frozen meals each week via doorstep delivery to 800 seniors in nearly every part of the county, representing a 110% increase over the past two years. Congregate dining also is available once-a-week at several locations. Guided by the nonprofit’s “Operation Accelerate” initiative, the organization will pair the 5,300 square foot capacity of the Winters center with its existing 2,800 square foot kitchen in Woodland to dramatically increase impact over coming months and years.
Tours, as well as cooking and equipment demonstrations, will be bookended by opening congratulatory remarks outdoors and a festive reception inside. Attendees also will have the opportunity to commemorate the occasion by “leaving their prints on the cabinets,” using non-toxic paint, for $50/per handprint. Participants’ names will be artistically added later to the handprints.
Introductory comments will focus upon the funders and donors who provided one-time support to spark the Winters center project. Yolo County Supervisors Oscar Villegas and Lucas Frerichs, Agency on Aging Area 4 Executive Director Pam Miller, State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (via video), and Sutter Health Community Health Director Kelly Brenk will speak about their commitment to American Rescue Plan, senior nutrition infrastructure funding, and private philanthropic support that emboldened Meals on Wheels Yolo County to further its mission.
“The outpouring of post-pandemic funding to launch this transformational project is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the seniors in our communities to experience healthier outcomes and the ability to age in place longer through consistent food security and socialization,” Cohan explained. “Now the challenge is to sustain the future that this facility makes possible. Investment of both funds and time will continue to be required to ensure that our kitchens have the food, supplies, and the staff needed to make more meals, and that we have the volunteer commitment necessary to deliver meals to seniors’ front doors.”
In addition to home-delivered meals and congregate dining, Meals on Wheels Yolo County also offers a “Weekend Food Project” program to the very lowest income meal recipients and serves as the midday meal provider to other local nonprofits, such as Dignity Health’s Yolo Adult Day Health Center and Yolo Cares’ Galileo Place Adult Day Program.
Grand opening “Kitchen Cabinet” sponsors as of October 29 include Sutter Health, CalFoods Logistics, The Davis CPA, Rotary Club of Davis, Nugget Markets, Aimee Sisson, the Meals on Wheels Yolo County Board of Directors, Winters Healthcare, Sally Brown and Jeff TenPas, Joel Cherry, Elly and Bob Fairclough, Hollie Malamud and Christopher Kelsch, Glorie and Art McNay, PK Automate, and Umoja Supply. More sponsorship information, as well as advance reservations for handprints, are available at https://www.mightycause.com/story/Kitchen-Cabinet.
To learn more about Meals on Wheels Yolo County’s mission to nourish and engage seniors in Yolo County, to donate, volunteer, or to connect with nutrition services, please visit https://mowyolo.org, email email@example.com, or call 530-662-7035.
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