Andrea Wishart, executive director of the Lake County Senior Citizens Association, used money from the Klamath and Lake Counties Council on Aging to provide a free bus for people of all ages who wish to attend lunch at the Lake County Senior Center.
Wishart said that COVID has disrupted lunch for the Senior Center, and until earlier this year the Senior Center was only providing lunch to-go. As COVID restrictions have eased and COVID vaccinations have become available, the Senior Center has reopened to indoor dining for its lunches three days a week.
Even though lunches have returned to in person, along with other after lunch activities, Wishart said that some people are missing out on the social aspect of the lunch, and she said one of the main goals of the free bus is to help people who have transportation issues attend the lunch in person. She said people are saying that they are getting rides from friends or neighbors.
Before it launched the free bus program, Wishart said that the Senior Center would often get requests that a ride program be provided. But Wishart said that she has been a bit disappointed with the turnout so far. She is looking for more people to use the free service. She is hoping more people learn about the service, or else she will earmark the dollars for the free bus to other programs.
“People do not need to be seniors to take advantage of the free bus or our $5 lunch. Where else can people even get lunch for $5?” said Wishart.
As events slowly return to the Senior Center, including bingo, Wishart said that the bus option is a way for people to attend the events after lunch.
She asks that people interested in riding the free lunch bus — which uses a paid employee and not a volunteer like the other transportation options — call 24 hours in advance so that a schedule and map can be decided on. Wishart said right now the focus is on people living in Lakeview, and that people will be picked up shortly before lunch starts and will arrive by 12 p.m., the beginning of lunch, at the Senior Center.
Wishart said the normal transportation and the lunch bus are for all ages. She encourages people who need a ride to the store in the community to call ahead to arrange a ride they do not have to walk through the streets with their items.
To schedule a ride or for more information call 541-947-4966 ext. 106.