IM senior center to serve weekly lunch in March

Our Town Iron Mountain

SHELBY BURBY, ASSISTANT cook at the Crystal Lake Senior Center in Iron Mountain, prepares vegetable cups for the Meals on Wheels program. The center plans to resume offering a congregate lunch at the site on Wednesdays in March. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency will offer a congregate lunch on Wednesdays for the month of March at the Crystal Lake Center in Iron Mountain.

It has been several years since DICSA discontinued noon meals at the center as the number of diners thinned.

“With such a lack of participants, it didn’t make sense to continue them,” said Chris Tramontin, DICSA nutrition director.

They hope a good turnout and steady support will allow the site to continue these congregate lunches, as they also provide a social gathering place for local residents.

The meal will reflect modern food preferences for a more balanced diet.

“Seniors are a lot different nowadays — they do not want mashed potatoes at lunch time,” Tramontin said. “So we will be offering a lighter menu — a soup and salad bar, along with a sandwich.”

The dining room will be open from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The planned menu includes:

March 7 – Chef salad and tuna sandwich;

March 14 – Chef salad and chili with corn muffin;

March 21 – Chef salad and chicken salad sandwich;

March 28 – Chicken noodle soup and egg salad sandwich.

Fruit and a beverage also will be provided with the lunches.

The program will continue as long as the need is there, Tramontin added.

“We recognize there’s a lot of snowbirds gone right now, but hope if it doesn’t go over this month, we will try it out again this summer,” said Kelly Peroceschi, head cook and supervisor.

“I’m excited to see new faces,” Peroceschi said. “I really encourage everyone to come down and enjoy lunch at the center.”

DICSA’s nutrition program is funded by state and federal grants, Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress, the county’s senior millage and donations.

The site already has an evening meals twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesday, with soup and salad bar opening at 4 p.m. and the meal served at 4:30 p.m., Peroceschi said.

And while turnout in the dining room might have been spotty, the Meals on Wheels program has continued to grow.

The Crystal Lake Center prepares approximately 200 dinners a day for Meals on Wheels, plus about 80 to 90 for the weekend.

The suggested donation for all meals is $4 for those older than 60 and a cost of $5 for those younger than 60.

Peroceschi says reservations are appreciated but not necessary. They can be made by calling the center at 906-774-5888 or the DICSA office at 906-774-2256.

The center is at 700 Crystal Lake Blvd., next to the YMCA. For more information, contact either the center or DICSA office.

Terri Castelaz can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 39, or tcastelaz@ironmountaindailynews.com.