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While talking with a man named Jack a few days ago about who might be moving into the old library, I made the statement that it would be nice if Chuckwagon could move into it. Instead of being stuck back in the back of the building where the temperature gets up to 80-85 degrees in the afternoon with the sun coming in and the heat never shuts off.
I also mentioned how at times during the winter the big dining room is being used so our Chuckwagon cook has to wheel the food out the back door, around to the side door and into our dining room. This is not very conducive to serving a good hot meal to the seniors.
Jack suggested that if we didn’t like it, maybe we should just stay home where it’s nice and cozy and fix our own lunch.
After all, the Chuckwagon meal was a “freebie” anyway! I responded by saying to him, “In other words, we (the seniors) should just sit down and be quiet and take whatever is dished out.” And he said, “yes.”
I want to tell Jack and anyone else who might be having his attitude about giving “freebies” to seniors, that for one thing not all of the seniors who eat lunch at the Chuckwagon are getting free meals. Many of us buy meal tickets, others do work at Chuckwagon in exchange for meals and some of us volunteer and buy meal tickets both! And another thing Jack, where do you think the money for these “freebie” programs for seniors comes from? It comes from the taxes paid by the hardworking people of our community and our state, just like the seniors paid for 30 or 40 years or more!
A lot of our seniors don’t come to Chuckwagon just to eat a meal Jack, free or otherwise. They come so they can see a friendly face across the table from them; to be able to have someone with whom they can share conversation and daily life experiences. We’re not alone and lonely anymore. Our community needs this nutrition program and if we can help someone’s latter years to be a little easier by lending a hand, or sharing a warm meal and conversation, it’s a privilege to do so.
And you know what, Jack? If you ever come to a point in your life where you can admit you’re old, and fragile, or lonely, or even need a free hot meal, you’ll be welcome, too.