Staff Spotlight on Anna Owen

October 9, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Anna Owen has a very critical role at Serving Seniors; she delivers meals to home bound seniors who otherwise would likely not eat. The clients on her route are amongst the poorest, most nutritionally at-risk population in San Diego and most are extremely isolated. Anna is often the only human contact these seniors will have all day and they look forward to seeing her face and chatting with her.

Anna has been a Home Delivered Meals (HDM) Driver for less than a year and is already very passionate about the work she does. She believes laughter is the best medicine and she indulges freely with the folks on her route. We had the chance to interview Anna about what this work means to her and her perspective is eye opening and heartwarming.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?ANNA AND LEROY
“I work with a diverse and dedicated group of people all playing pivotal roles in bettering the lives of thousands of senior human beings, whether it be nourishment, housing, enrichment or social services. I have moments when the impact leaves me brimming with joy and moments which leave me welling with tears. To brand it rewarding would be an understatement.”

Why is your role of delivering meals so important?
“I am on the front lines with Serving Seniors, delivering meals. I knock on the door with my custom tempo or ring the bell, often letting myself in. Most often the smile which I encounter is the gauge that all is well. Sometimes, the delivery of a hot meal and a friendly face is all that is needed. I bow out with their sincere gratitude, “Thank you.” Often though, it goes further…our conversations and interactions allow us to further touch base. Having become inevitably close to my clients, I want to ensure that their basic needs are being met. I am more than a friendly face, ear, or voice. But also an eye, bridge, and advocate for them. Whether it be via Serving Seniors, or simply with a bit of personal gumption.”

Just for fun: If you could invite any three people to a dinner party, who would you invite?
“I can’t limit it to three without thinking for a week. I would invite my deceased father (Mack Owen), David Bowie, Pablo Picasso, Joan of Arc, Charlize Theron and Laird Hamilton….Oh, and my best friend & wing man John Brockley. He is hilarious, brilliant and totally gets me.”

It was great getting to know you, Anna, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to our seniors. We are lucky to have a staff member with your humor, positive attitude, and warmth.

Serving more than Healthy Meals to Seniors

September 25, 2013 - Serving Seniors

James is a new senior resident at one of downtown San Diego’s single room occupancy hotels. James is new in San Diego and has no family or friends nearby. The small room is equipped with a twin bed and a tiny sink; bathrooms are shared with other hotel residents. Paying for the hotel room to avoid living on the streets is about all that James can afford.

James found out about Senior Community Centers home delivered meals program through other hotel residents and called to sign up as well. Kimberly, one of our home delivered meals drivers, came by the next day with a hot and nutritious lunch as well as breakfast for the next day. On Fridays, our drivers deliver breakfast and lunch for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, James had to decline the meals because he could not store or heat up the food.

Letting one of our clients go hungry for an entire weekend – and many other weekends to follow – is not an option.  Senior Community Centers’ Food Service Director took extra ordinary measures and discovered a small fridge and a microwave in working condition in our limited storage space.

James was very grateful and surprised when Kimberly delivered a fridge and microwave along with fresh meals during her next visit! We sure made his day and are excited to know that James has access to healthy food seven days a week.

James and Kim

Senator Introduces Bill to Protect Senior Nutrition Programs

January 27, 2012 - Paul Downey

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has formally introduced the Older Americans Act reauthorization bill, which affects senior nutrition programs like ours. It includes all of the key policy points  that we have been advocating through NANASP. This includes maintaining separate funding streams for congregate and home delivered meals and limiting the authority of local government to transfer money out of nutrition to back-fill administrative positions.

Senator Sanders’ speech was spot-on and highlighted the critical need for senior nutrition programs. Here’s an excerpt:

Not only is it the right and moral thing to do to keep seniors in this country from going hungry, in the long run, we save money by keeping them healthy.

Listen to the full speech below.

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