Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre. (Grace Kennedy photo)

LETTER: Cafeteria woes drive North Delta seniors away

When the cafeteria left the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre, so did some of the seniors

(RE: “Seniors centre struggling with engagement” NDR Vol. 3 No. 22, May 31, 2018)

Last week in the North Delta Reporter was an article about Kennedy House. I was very interested in the opinion that the membership had been dwindling. I would like to comment on that.

For over ten years I have very much enjoyed going to Kennedy House as a senior. I started to volunteer as a convener in 2009 and became more active as a convener of several groups during the last eight years. I also became a “regular” in the cafeteria during that period, turning the centre into my “home away from home’”with the people and the warmth of the cafeteria. Those sentiments were shared by many.

From a “layperson’s” perspective, I’ve observed the attendance (membership?) dwindle dramatically since our cafeteria was closed in November and December.

Previously, many many seniors came to the cafeteria to enjoy their “main meal” of the day and socialize. Those seniors stopped coming.

There was a small revival when a goodhearted Samaritan volunteered to make hearty soup and sandwiches for a few weeks early in the new year.

Meanwhile, the Board was trying to make a transition from an in-house cook to a catering company. They succeeded in hiring a catering company that started on Feb. 13.

Unfortunately, that company served only pureed soup for three weeks with the same four choices for sandwiches. Many gave them a chance for a few weeks but were disappointed when no “hearty” soups (like beef and barley or chicken noodle with lots of ingredients) or hot meals were offered. A menu with those kinds of choices had been available until last October.

After a few weeks, I witnessed many folks come in, take a look at the menu and leave. Finally, the new president insisted the hot meals start in April. Once-a-week hot meals were offered, but not like the hot meals that drew such crowds when there was an in-house cook running the kitchen with many volunteers. Lasagna, perogies with trimmings, meatloaf with trimmings, shepherd’s pie, liver and onions, etc. were big hits for the seniors until almost the end of October.

Unfortunately, the catering company did not pay attention to the dwindling numbers. The company seemed unprepared to offer what had worked so well before. That resulted in their business going downhill and wanting an early release from their contract.

For years, hot meals several times a week provided a great service to our seniors who live alone and the aged ones who need the socialization and nutritious meals at a reasonable price.

The message sent from those seniors was loud and clear!!!! They chose not to support the mediocre menu that was presented. Hence that was a strong contribution to the ‘dwindling’ membership.

I can only hope that a good service will once again be offered in our cafeteria and that many of those seniors will return.

-Patti McGregor, via email

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Delta call centre to report gatherings, access help during COVID-19 pandemic now open

Mayor George Harvie, DPD Chief Neil Dubord spoke about the centre during a virtual townhall March 26

Surrey Santa Parade may be cancelled

Annual parade in Cloverdale has seen security costs skyrocket

Cloverdale food bank sees surge in demand over short period

Lower Mainland’s newest food bank serves Langley, Delta, Surrey, White Rock

South Surrey hikers discover decades-old campsite hidden in Golden Ears Park

Group reconnects with original campers through social media, returns log book

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read