May 1

Partnership Ensures Nutrition, Companionship

A hearty bowl of vegetable soup will chase the chill on an early spring day, and a sandwich and leafy salad may be just the thing to celebrate the return of warm, sunny weather. Savvy diners make Springwell’s Senior Dining Program in Belmont their noontime destination for a nutritious meal-and the company of welcoming servers and friendly faces across the table.

In a partnership with the Belmont Council on Aging, Springwell offers a choice of hot and cold entrees Monday through Friday in COA’s onsite dining room. The meals are delivered daily by Lindley Food Service of Everett and served by Springwell staff members Barbara Tirimacco and Mary Cummings and COA and Springwell volunteers. The program is free to individuals 60 and older who live in Springwell and COA’s service areas and neighboring communities. “They receive not only a balanced meal, but enjoy seeing their friends and socializing,” says Meghan Ostrander, Springwell’s Nutrition Director.

Ostrander, a registered dietitian, plans the menus in accordance with federal nutrition guidelines. “Each meal provides a third of the daily requirements of calories, protein, and vitamins,” she explains. “Dinners include vegetables and 1% milk, and three times a week, high-fiber bread and fruit.” She limits fat and sodium and considers dietary restrictions, including a sugar-free dessert option each day.

At noon, diners join newcomers and friends they’ve made in the three years of the program’s existence. They look forward to monthly holiday-themed meals and the frequent lectures, cooking demonstrations, and Ostrander’s presentations on topics such as Super Foods for Seniors and the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.

On Thursdays, they enjoy the entertainment of the visiting Bellaires vocal group and a sing-along. “Anyone who wishes can get up and sing,” says Barbara Tirimacco, Dining Site Manager. “Everyone has a great time.”

Meals are provided by Springwell with costs offset by federal funding and donations. An anonymous donation of $2.00 is suggested. Guests under 60 are welcome for a donation of $6.75.