MOUNT HOLLY – Burlington County senior citizens will continue to have multiple locations to go for healthy meals, socialization and enrichment in 2023.
The Burlington County Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve the renewal of leases at the four County congregate nutrition sites in Bordentown, Beverly, Mount Holly and Moorestown. The Board also voted to extend funding for the noon lunches served at the Pemberton Senior Center.
More than 24,000 meals have been served to seniors at the five sites so far this year.
“Our County’s congregate meals program is a great way for seniors to get out of the house, connect with other people and eat a nutritious meal in a community setting,” said Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson, the liaison to the County Office on Aging and the Department of Human Services. “It was a real hardship when these sites had to close during the pandemic, but we’re thrilled they were able to reopen and operate normally once again, and we’re looking forward to an even better 2023.”
The four congregate nutrition sites are operated by the County Office on Aging and will remain at the following locations next year: Carslake Community Center, 207 Crosswicks Street, Bordentown City; First Baptist Church of Beverly, 405 Broad Street, Beverly; Samuel Miller Building, 256 Clifton Avenue, Mount Holly; and Bethel AME Church, 512 North Church Street, Moorestown.
Each of these locations serves lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Mount Holly is also open on Wednesdays.
Any senior 60 or older is welcome to attend. Meal reservations are requested a week in advance and can be made by calling 609-702-7053.
In addition to serving lunch, the nutrition sites offer participating seniors opportunities to meet and socialize with fellow residents, County staff and volunteers. Activities such as armchair exercises, arts and crafts, cards and games, are also held at the sites, along with lectures and presentations.
Donations are accepted to help cover program expenses, however, no one will be refused a meal for failing to contribute.
Funding for the program is also provided by the federal Older Americans Act Nutrition Program, which was created in 1972 to support the health and well-being of older adults through nutrition services like Meals on Wheels and congregate sites.
In addition to the County’s four nutrition sites, Burlington County also provides financial support for the daily lunch program at the Pemberton Senior Center operated by Pemberton Township. Local seniors 55 and older are eligible but must register with the township. An application is available online at www.pemberton-twp.com under the “Senior Services” tab. More than 11,300 meals have been served in Pemberton this year.
“All five of these sites have incredible staff and are safe places for seniors to go for both nutritious meals and opportunities to remain physically and mentally active,” Hopson said. “Our Board is one thousand percent committed to ensuring this program remains available and accessible. We want to encourage any senior to take advantage of it and many of the other senior services our County offers.”
A directory of Burlington County senior programs and services is available online at: https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/15476/Aging-Directory-2022-updated-222
State Senator Troy Singleton applauded the County for continuing this important service for local seniors.
“I commend the Burlington County Commissioners for their ongoing work to combat food insecurity in our communities – whether that is through their monthly food distributions or these five senior nutrition sites,” said Senator Singleton. “Undoubtedly, the County’s senior lunch program is vitally important in providing seniors with both meals and social activities they can look forward to and rely upon each week.”