The government spends billions of dollars to feed seniors. Lassen County's share is based on population.

Lassen County Health and Social Services announces new Dine Around Town Senior Nutrition pilot program

Here’s a chart of the Aging Network.

Lassen County senior citizens may take advantage of a new program to designed to help them receive meals.

The recently announced Dine Around Town Senior Nutrition Program is a direct nutrition service of the Planning and Service Area 2 Area Agency on Aging, a joint powers agency providing aging and adult services in Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties, in partnership with the Lassen County Health and Social Services Department and Lumberjack Restaurant in Susanville.

This new, innovative alternative model to a senior congregate meal site provides Dine Around Town Senior Nutrition Program participants with 20 vouchers per month which can be redeemed for healthy, nutritionally balanced meals served at Lumberjack Restaurant in Susanville. The new program launches next week, Monday, Nov. 28.

Here’s how it works, according to a statement from LHSS
Participants may choose from a variety of menu options for breakfast, lunch or dinner between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Benefits to DAT Senior Nutrition Program participants include

  • Access to nutritious meal choices;
  • Increased socialization;
  • Decrease in food insecurity; and
  • Improves the lives of the community’s older adults.

Program eligibility

  • Aged 60 and over and must reside in Lassen County;
  • Complete required registration and assessment process; and
  • Seniors must provide their own transportation.

Looking for home-delivered meals?

  • Program is currently being developed, however, is not finalized;
  • Do you have a family member, friend or neighbor that can pick up meals?
  • Complete the required registration and join the waiting list.

Need a ride?
Call Lassen Rural Bus at 252-7433 for more information. Transportation costs are not included with the DAT Senior Nutrition Program at this time.

How to register
To register for the DAT Senior Nutrition Program, call PSA 2 Area Agency on Aging at (530) 842-1687.

More information on the new program
Terri Gabriel, director of the PSA 2 Area Agency on Aging, the governmental organization responsible for managing the programs that feed seniors in the North state, said, “We are working with Lassen Health and Human Services and Lumberjack restaurant to bring back older adult nutrition services through PSA 2’s Older Americans Act funding. We’re about to launch that program Nov. 28.”

She said she has been working with Lassen County Supervisor Gary Bridges to bring a nutritional program back to Lassen County. Tina Kennemore and Rebecca Terwilliger serve on the PSA 2 Advisory Council. Two other Lassen County seats on the board are vacant. Board members are appointed by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.

“I have heard that Lassen Senior Services has given notice that they’re home delivered meal program is coming to an end, so this is the perfect time to be bringing this program back,” Gabriel said. “We are working not only on dine-in at the restaurant, but also on the home-delivered meal which is the next phase of the process. Anyone interested can contact our office ((530) 842-1687), and we’ll get them registered for the program.”

Gabriel said the PSA 2 senior nutrition program has not been in place in Lassen County since it cut its ties with Lassen Senior Services nearly two years ago, but the funding allotted to Lassen County has been placed on hold with the agency.

“We’ve been working toward redeveloping a program where we could use local resources since we no longer had a contract with Lassen Senior Services,” Gabriel said.

She said PSA 2 put out a request for proposals, in Lassen County, but there were no successful nonprofit bidders, which allowed the agency to go to a commercial restaurant as long as they met all the regulations and only charged the agreed upon price for the meals.

“We have received authorization from the California Department of Aging to use this program,” Gabriel said.

Barbara Longo, director of the Lassen County Health and Social Services Department, said five or six counties in the North state are creating similar pilot programs to feed seniors.

Longo said she had talked about the program with several other Susanville restaurants, but Lumberjack was the only one that really expressed an interest in participating.

Longo admitted other restaurants were interested, but that interest waned due to the bureaucratic demands of restaurant inspections and menu options necessary to meet the nutritional needs of seniors and the regulatory process.

“It was a lot for them to digest, so we just thought, let’s work out some of the kinks because we’d like to get some of our other restaurants on board, too,” Longo said.

Longo said her interest is addressing the food insecurity among local senior citizens and getting the program up and running.

“I’m just trying to get the word out,” Longo said. “I think this is something that will help the people who want to get out and have a meal.”

Longo admitted the creators have not arrived at a plan for home-delivered meals yet, but she said discussions are underway with organizations such as Dial A Ride to provide that service.

“We’ll have to see if our transport team can help those who really need the food,” Longo said.