JFS LA preps for in-person meals at Senior Center

ASSISTANCE PLEASE—As the JFS LA readies for a return to in-person senior meals for local seniors, the group is in need of volunteer help. (Courtesy photo)

The Jewish Family Service LA, which runs a senior meal site at the Culver City Senior Center, will be reopening for in-person dining five days a week starting in March. It has been nearly three years since they had to stop due to the pandemic. Due to the renewed demand, they are looking for volunteers.

“Prior to the pandemic, Jewish Family Service LA was not the meal site service provider, so when we were asked to provide this service for Culver City seniors, we were happy to take on the opportunity,” said Mari Harren, senior communications associate for the JFSLA. “During the pandemic, we created innovative solutions for our meal site clients by connecting them to our home-delivered meals service and by creating the Grab n’ Go sites. We did whatever we had to do so that seniors were able to continue receiving meals. Now, we are just really looking forward to serving and getting to know our clients in-person over warm meals.”

Finally, now is the right time to bring in-person dining back, which is vital for the Senior Center patrons’ mental well being.

“Bringing on-site dining back to our seniors is always helpful as there is the concern of them being isolated, but especially for JFSLA as it provides further opportunity to engage with participants in Culver City, which is harder to do when it’s a grab and go,” said Joyce M. Williams, JFS Director of Volunteers. “It’s a new relationship building opportunity we have not had, as we were not the meal site service provider prior to the pandemic, and we may engage seniors once it’s a congregate site who were not participating in the grab and go option.”

The Culver City Senior Center will be the JFSLA’s biggest senior meal site, so volunteers will be important.

“Additional volunteers are needed to support operations as we will be increasing from having participants come one of two days, Monday and Wednesday, to pick up Grab and Go meals at the Culver City Senior Center for the week to now Monday – Friday as a congregate meal site,” said Williams. “Volunteers help with checking in, serving meals and water and wrap up with cleaning and sanitizing. At our dining centers, volunteers play a large role in creating a welcoming atmosphere by being a friendly face for our seniors. We are looking for a few volunteers for each weekday day, especially on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from approximately 10am – 1pm. If interested please email Joyce Williams at jmwilliams@jfsla.org.”

The meal site will be at the Culver City Senior Center located at 4095 Overland Ave, Culver City 90232. Meals will be provided to anyone 60 or over and disabled individuals who meet the qualifications. The meal site will be open Monday – Friday, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Clients will check in and receive a warm meal to enjoy in the dining center in the company of others. 

For more information about signing up and/or qualifying for this benefit, call the JFS Senior Nutrition Program at 323-937-5843.