Senior Resources opens new Meals on Wheels Center, launches food truck

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant and Director of the Lt. Governor's Office on Aging Darryl Broome join Senior Resources staff for the grand opening of the Meals on Wheels center and food truck.

Senior Resources celebrated the grand opening of its new Meals on Wheels center, and the launch of its food truck, called Señor Resources, at a Thursday event. Both projects have been in the works over the past year as the agency seeks new ways to serve the growing elderly population in the Midlands.

"I applaud Senior Resources for their creativity in planning ahead for the future," said Darryl Broome, Director of the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging. "As the number of seniors continues to grow, innovative thinking like this will be crucial to providing and expanding programs and services across South Carolina."

The Meals on Wheels Center is a 900-square foot facility at Senior Resources’ central office building on Millwood Avenue, with renovations done by Tyler Construction. It will house the largest of Senior Resources’ three meal sites, serving 250 meals each day, with room to grow.

“For many years, we’ve been operating out of local churches, who have graciously offered us their kitchen space,” said Senior Resources Executive Director Pam Dukes. “But as we’ve expanded to meet the needs of a growing elderly population, we realized the need to have a space of our own. We’re excited that we will be able to meet the needs of our hungry seniors for many years to come with this addition.”

The new Meals on Wheels site includes an external walk-in freezer, purchased with funding from the Walmart Foundation, to allow Senior Resources to expand its frozen meal program, which provides frozen meals to clients who live in remote areas of Richland County that can’t effectively be served by a daily hot-meal delivery. The facility will also include space for Senior Resources’ Senior Care Pantry and Pet Pals program. The Senior Care Pantry provides non-perishable food, toiletries and household items to seniors on the Meals on Wheels waiting list. The Pet Pals program provides a monthly supply of pet food to Meals on Wheels clients who have pets in the home.

The food truck, Señor Resources, will specialize in authentic breakfast tacos and homemade tortillas, as well as other menu items. All proceeds from the food truck will support the programs at Senior Resources. It is an idea that came about after Dukes attended a session on social enterprise at last year's Meals on Wheels national conference.
“The goal is to not only to diversify our revenue stream, but also to raise awareness of senior hunger and attract volunteers among audiences we have not previously reached,” Dukes said. “We’re very fortunate at Senior Resources to have board members who are willing to think outside the box and embrace new ideas for expanding our mission.”
Señor Resources will participate in local fairs and festivals, and is also available to reserve for private events or businesses. To find out where you can find the food truck, follow @senorresources on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit seniorresourcesinc.org for reservation forms.

About Senior Resources, Inc.
Senior Resources is a non-profit organization that coordinates services, provides resources and encourages the personal choices that allow Columbia's senior citizens to remain independent. All activities, services and programs of the agency are geared toward promoting independent living, with the goal of helping seniors remain in their homes as long as possible through the support of staff and volunteers, and delaying or preventing the need for institutionalized care.

Since 1967, Senior Resources has served Columbia's frail and elderly residents in three areas:
1) In-home services, including Meals on Wheels, home care, respite care, senior companion services, and case management;
2) Community-based services, including congregate meals, wellness centers, transportation, and physical fitness;
3) Volunteer services, including the Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent programs.
With local, state and federal government funding, as well as contributions from United Way, personal donations and fundraising activities, Senior Resources offers a variety of programs so that our clients can select the assistance they need to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.