December 20, 2014

Hayden proposing ‘inter-generational’ lunch program for Edgerton seniors

Seniors and their guests lined up for a lunch buffet featuring breakfast foods. The monthly senior luncheon is hosted by volunteers. About 45 persons, including County Commissioner Calvin Hayden, attended the event. Staff photo by Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
County Commissioner Calvin Hayden visited the monthly senior citizens luncheon Sept. 19 in Edgerton.
In addition to visiting with seniors, he also shared some news with them — he is working with the Johnson Area Agency on Aging on an initiative that would allow seniors to participate in the school lunch program for free.
Calvin said the “inter-generational” program would allow seniors to socialize and have a nutritious meal while allowing students to gain from their wisdom and life experiences.
“Think about it,” Hayden said.  “How many of these kids don’t have grandparents, and solid parents and solid role models in their lives? What a great opportunity to help a kid.
“You have a good meal, and the children get the benefit of your wisdom.
“…It’s a win-win deal.”
Hayden said the statewide initiative would be piloted in Edgerton.
But it’s not a done deal, yet.
“Although there are many hurdles to cross we are hoping for a positive reception and green light from the powers that be to get this up and running,” he said.
One of those hurdles is that the government is changing nutritional requirements for public schools.
Once that issue is resolved, he said, the senior initiative will be pursued.
“We’re not much good as individuals if we can’t take care of our seniors,” he said.
Hayden added that he hoped the program would be offered at no cost to seniors.
“We’re hoping it will be a free deal,” he said. “By just going to have lunch, you’re volunteering as a mentor for the school.
“I see it as an elegant solution to a problem we can overcome.”
Several seniors at the luncheon said they would be interested in participating in the inter-generational lunch program.

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