Lunch resumes at Central Point Senior Center: Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Director of Nutrition Jamie Maviglia distributes flowers in preparation for the resumption of face-to-face lunches at the Central Point Senior Resource Center. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]

Range of activities that come to the center

In-person lunches for seniors begin again Monday at the renovated Point Senior Resource Center.

The starter is chicken and herbs with gravy, baked potatoes, peas and carrots, rye bran rolls and chocolate cake, for a suggested donation of $2.75. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

Seniors 60 and older and their spouses are eligible for the lunches, which will be served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the center, located at 123 N. Second St. from Central Point. Doors open at 11 am

Carrying out maintenance and repairs at the senior center took longer than expected, pushing the planned reopening from spring to August, said Rogue Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Ann Marie Alfrey.

RVCOG purchased the senior center in hopes of partnering with the senior citizens of the Central Point area, a nonprofit that for decades had provided meals, activities and a thrift store to the building The nonprofit disbanded and stopped serving meals in March, though volunteers still maintain the thrift store.

RVCOG provides home-cooked meals through its Meals on Wheels program and wanted to expand to in-person meals at Central Point through the senior center building. It offers in-person group lunches in a dozen communities in Jackson and Josephine counties, in addition to food delivery, Alfrey said.

Central Point City Manager Chris Clayton said RVCOG worked hard to maintain some components of the previous senior center, including allowing volunteers to run the thrift store and host some of its own activities.

Clayton said the city’s parks and recreation department will also offer some recreation programs.

“It’s a change for the seniors who have been going there for a long time, we understand that, but it will be very good for the city and our seniors in the long run. From a social aspect, certainly the venue for congregate meals is important, but we also wanted these recreation programs to be in place,” he said.

The RVCOG headquarters is located near the senior center. The agency used the Central Point Grange Hall for home meal operations, but the building was not suitable for in-person meals for seniors.

“Ultimately, the decision (for RVCOG to run the facility) was to ensure that the senior nutrition program and senior and disability services are extended indefinitely to the city of Central Point,” Clayton said. “Given that they already provide that to the city and the region, it made a lot of sense to have them in charge of the meal site that was right across the street from their other offices.”

RVCOG’s Alfrey said she hopes seniors will welcome the new lunch operations and social activities at the Resource Center. He said seniors have been through a lot over the past few years.

“Our senior demographic was hit hard by the social isolation of the pandemic,” he said. “We hope it’s well-received and well-attended. It has the ability to make a big impact. It’s an opportunity to have a meal and social interaction, which is much needed these days.”

Alfrey said RVCOG saw an increase in social isolation and depression among seniors during the pandemic. This can have an impact on people’s health, as well as their social well-being.

Meals at the senior center will meet federal nutrition standards, with low sodium and diabetic options.

Lunches at the center used to cost $6, instead of the new price of a suggested donation of $2.75. Central Point area seniors funded the lunches through thrift store sales, donations and $20 annual memberships from its more than 100 members.

With the thrift store still run by volunteers, Alfrey said she hopes the resumption of in-person lunches will bring more customers to the store.

The thrift store is open from 9am to 1pm on weekdays and from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays. Proceeds benefit the programs and activities of the senior center.

RVCOG’s sources of funding for the lunches include money through the federal Older Persons Act, local jurisdictions and fundraising.

Clubs such as the Central Point Woodcarvers and the Rogue Eagles Radio Control Club continue to use the senior center for their meetings.

More fun and educational activities are being planned for the afternoons after the daily lunches.

The first activity is an AARP Smart Driver course from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, August 15-16. To register, call 541-423-1012 or visit

Contact Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or Contact Mail Tribune reporter Buffy Pollock at 541-776-8784 or

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