South County Senior Center offering Christmas meals for seniors for second year

Volunteers help prepare meals for seniors on Christmas Day through the South County Senior Center’s meal delivery/pickup program in 2022.

Volunteers help prepare meals for seniors on Christmas Day through the South County Senior Center’s meal delivery/pickup program in 2022. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

South County Senior Center Director Jennifer Remillard and Andrea Leibson at the Senior Center’s Christmas meal giveaway in 2022.

South County Senior Center Director Jennifer Remillard and Andrea Leibson at the Senior Center’s Christmas meal giveaway in 2022. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 12-10-2023 3:01 PM

SUNDERLAND — For the second consecutive year, the South County Senior Center and community partners are coming together to offer free Christmas Day meals for older adults in Deerfield, Sunderland and Whately.

In the inaugural run last year, Senior Center Director Jennifer Remillard said they provided more than 65 meals to seniors in the community and they’re looking forward to doing it all again, with the Sunderland Men’s Club taking the lead on the partnership.

Remillard said they saw a need for holiday meals in the community last year, which led to the creation of the delivery service, and that need is still present today.

“Since I’ve put it out on Facebook, we’ve received about eight phone calls already,” Remillard said, adding that many seniors are still feeling the effects of “isolation.” “We’re getting calls from people who don’t have family in town or who live alone.”

Any older adult in Deerfield, Sunderland or Whately who needs a meal is encouraged to contact the Senior Center by calling 413-665-2141 or emailing scsc@town.deerfield.ma.us.

The deadline to sign up to receive a meal is Dec. 19. Folks are asked to provide their first and last name, the number of meals they’re requesting — one meal per person — their phone number and the address where the food can be delivered.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Greenfield Police Logs: Jan. 24 to Feb. 13, 2024
My Turn: Biden’s record and accomplishments are extremely positive
Residents displaced after blaze in Turners Falls
Four-alarm blaze at Red Fire Farm in Granby causes an estimated $1M in damages
Class C quarters: Hannah Gilbert (29 points), No. 4 Franklin Tech roar into semifinals via 54-29 win over No. 5 Greenfield (PHOTOS)
Young entrepreneur takes leap with dog grooming salon in Greenfield

To help put on the meal delivery, the Senior Center and the Sunderland Men’s Club are looking for volunteers on Christmas morning, most likely beginning at 8:30 a.m. Anyone who is interested in volunteering can contact Remillard at 413-665-2141 or email scsc@town.deerfield.ma.us by Dec. 19.

Meals will consist of a turkey dinner, squash, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, a roll and dessert, according to Sunderland Men’s Club member Tom Fydenkevez.

Remillard thanked the Sunderland Congregational Church for allowing the use of their kitchen for cooking and the Sunderland Men’s Club for taking the lead this year.

“Because of community support and volunteers, we’re able to meet the needs of our older adults,” Remillard said, adding that she is always looking for more help at the center. “Support is needed year-round, not just [during] the holiday season.”

Monetary donations will also be accepted and can be mailed to the South County Senior Center at P.O. Box 225, Sunderland, MA 01375. Write “Holiday Meal” in the memo line of checks.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.