Friday frozen meal pickups ending June 30
By Sam Richards
The Friday frozen meal pickups outside the Diablo Room at the Hillside Clubhouse are set to end for Rossmoor residents, because Contra Costa County funding for those meals is ending.
The meals have been available for residents 60 and older since the COVID-19 pandemic began raging in 2020. The last Friday frozen meal pickup at Hillside is scheduled for Friday, June 30.
The Friday sit-down meals, served at 11:30 a.m., will continue to be served inside the Diablo Room, said Elena Ybarra, Recreation’s volunteer/activities coordinator, who oversees the Friday food programs.
The frozen meal pickups – which include five full meals, including main courses, side dishes and beverages – have been taking place each Friday. The suggested donation has been $15 for the five frozen meals for seniors 60 years and older.
Approximately 75 people have signed up to receive the frozen take-home meals each Friday in recent weeks, Ybarra said.
The Rossmoor Friday Lunch program has historically been the in-person sit-down meal, Ybarra said. The frozen meal pickup option was added in July 2020, a few months into the COVID pandemic.
Some Rossmoor residents may be able to continue to get meals – five frozen and two fresh per week – after July 1, delivered to their homes via Meals on Wheels and the city of Walnut Creek. Residents who are at least 60 years old, who are not currently driving, have a disability or are a spouse of an eligible participant, are invited to apply by calling 1-925-937-8607 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to verify eligibility.
Rossmoor residents, Ybarra said, are encouraged to continue coming to the Friday sit-down lunches. These are provided by C.C Cafes, the county’s seniors nutrition program, its goal being to provide nutritious and well-balanced meals to seniors. A typical lunch is made up of an entrée (beef, chicken, pork, fish or pasta), salad and a dessert.
Calls and emails last week to Contra Costa County officials seeking comment about the end of the frozen meal distribution were not returned.
All Friday Lunch participants must complete a National Aging Program Information Systems (NAPIS) form each year. This must be done in advance and can be done over the phone by calling Ybarra at 1-925-988-7703.
Rossmoor residents have come to the Friday sit-down meal not only for a nutritious lunch, but for socializing. The suggested donation is $3 per meal for those 60 and older, and $6 for those younger than 60. Those coming for lunch are asked to arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to allow time to sign-in.
“We encourage residents to participate in the sit-down meal through Rossmoor,” Ybarra said.