Edwards Aloha Community Center hosts Meals on Wheels, county program

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Meals on Wheels lunches are coming to Edwards Aloha Community Center on Mondays.Senior citizens in Aloha will be able to get hot meals closer to home on Mondays, beginning Feb. 23.

Lunches will be served to veterans and people over 60 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays at the Edwards Aloha Community Center, 4375 S.W. Edwards Place. Diners may take a second boxed meal home to eat later.

The Meals on Wheels People program asks diners to contribute $3 for the meals but won't turn away anyone who cannot pay, officials said.

The new program is a partnership between Edwards Center Inc., Meals on Wheels People, and the Washington County Disabled, Aging and Veterans Services.

Previously, Aloha seniors had to go to senior centers in Beaverton or Hillsboro to take part in a Meals on Wheels program, but those programs are filling up.

“There has been a huge, unmet need in Aloha to feed hungry seniors,” said Jessica Leitner, executive director of Edwards Center.

Edwards Center and Meals on Wheels People will provide activities, programs and volunteer opportunities for seniors at the community center, which primarily serves adults with developmental disabilities. The county agency provides funding.

Leitner believes there is enough demand for meal service in Aloha that in the future, they may be able to expand the program to additional days.

The Edwards Aloha Community Center, which opened in 2013, already provides meal service and activities for adults with developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, mental retardation and other conditions.

Leitner said the addition of seniors and veterans will help provide new community connections for several groups that might otherwise become isolated. Many adults with disabilities also live with elderly parents who qualify for the meal service, she added.

The Meals on Wheels program is primarily aimed at low-income people ages 60 and older, as well as veterans, but there is no proof of income required to be fed, Leitner said. Other visitors may also eat there and contribute what they can afford, she added.

“For us, this is a like a dream come true,” Leitner said.

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