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Sat, Jan. 18

Chat-N-Chow serves up healthy portions of food and companionship

Blanda and Edward Richmond are typical of most seniors who eat lunch at the Chat-N-Chow: they enjoy the company as much as the food.

Richmond, 84, who has lived in Kingman for 42 years, said he enjoys the camaraderie at the senior nutrition center, and the price is right - just a $2 donation for the nutritious and tasty meal served Monday through Friday.

"This is the most friendly place in town," he said.

"We try to stay active, but it's difficult when health problems are involved.

Eating lunch at the Chat-N-Chow is one of the few activities we both enjoy."

Close to 100 seniors – more than usual – joined the group for lunch Thursday to enjoy one of Blanda's favorite meals: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy.

"We always have more people here when Salisbury steak is served," said Joyce Bailey, one of 26 nutrition center volunteers.

"Anything that includes mashed potatoes and gravy they love.

The most popular dessert is chocolate pudding."

Bailey said the center is a lifeline for many seniors, some who take the senior bus in the morning and wait at the center until lunchtime.

"They come in at 8:30 a.m.

on the bus, and wait around.

They find their favorite seat and get their silverware.

Some drink coffee or iced tea and play cards or socialize until lunch is served at 11:30 a.m."

Depending on the menu, between 80 to100 seniors eat lunch at Chat-N-Chow every weekday.

Other favorite meals include baked chicken or turkey, spaghetti and McRibs.

Located at 1776 Airway, the Chat-N-Chow program has been serving lunches to seniors for more than 29 years, said Cat Trobaugh, site supervisor for the Mohave County senior nutrition program.

"We serve between 1,200 to 1,300 meals a week, which includes Meals on Wheels.

We make up the menus and then they are approved by a state-approved certified nutritionist," Trobaugh said.

Some volunteers, such as Bailey, work at the center, while others deliver meals to shut-ins for the Meals on Wheels program.

Still others are volunteer drivers for the transportation program that offers rides to seniors for a donation.

Four full-time and five part-time Mohave County employees help keep the senior programs running, including four Meals on Wheels drivers, three kitchen workers, one transportation driver and one supervisor.

"We know how valuable the program is - and we are striving to make things better," Trobaugh said.

She added that the goal of Meals on Wheels is to nourish shut-in seniors so they stay healthy while they stay in their homes - so they do not have to go into nursing homes.

She gets calls from families, hospitals or other agencies in town that want someone put on the Meals for Wheels route.

For more information on the programs contact Trobaugh at 757-8150.

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