LOWVILLE — Something new is about to come out of the Lewis County Office for the Aging kitchen: dinner.

Beginning on Oct. 7, the office will be offering a soup or salad dinner on Thursday nights from 5 to 6:30 p.m. for the next six weeks.

The trial program is designed as an introduction to the office for county residents who are at least 60 years old.

“We’re looking to get some new faces. We realize some of our younger seniors are still working, and then on the flip side of that, we also have those who don’t feel they’re a senior yet,” said meal program coordinator Vicki Meyer. “So we are just hoping this will bring in some new folks and get them familiar with our meals, our staff, our programs that we offer, so that if any time down the road they need to access our services, that they’ll be a little more inclined to call when they need a helping hand.”

Each week, the menu will consist of nutritionally balanced stew or chilli or a salad, made with fresh local produce and meat sourced through the North Star Food Hub. Meals will be prepared by Fred McManus, of McManus Catering, who is also responsible for preparing meals for other OFA programs.

The menus are also designed to give people an opportunity to try something they wouldn’t normally prepare for themselves or order in a local eatery, Mrs. Meyer said.

Featured the first week will be an apple chicken stew described as “lighter than a traditional stew,” and a roasted beet and goat cheese salad with mixed greens, chicken and sliced avocado topped with fresh blueberries and walnuts served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Future salads will be Mediterranean quinoa; kale, apple and chicken; Mexican fiesta; roasted autumn steak; and Cobb salad with turkey to finish out the series.

Stew features will include root stew; Tuscan pork stew; beef and butternut squash stew; three bean sweet potato chili; and white chicken chili.

Federal stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan made it possible for the office’s team to get creative without having to diminish any existing programs.

“In Lewis County, we have long had a goal of offering fresh, local foods through our meal program,” OFA Director Crystal Collette said. “We are so excited to put these funds to good use.”

Whether people choose to enjoy their meals at Maple Ridge or “grab and go,” they must fill out a registration form from the OFA, 5274 Outer Stowe St., or call 315-376-5313.

Reservations aren’t required, but they are recommended. Although the meals are free, a $10 donation is suggested.

The six-week menu for the meal series is posted to the OFA Facebook page.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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