2020 has been quite the year for the Gem County Senior and Community Center. What started off as having to submit tax returns to the IRS quickly turned into Bingo being cancelled, then within the same week of the game starting again, a worldwide pandemic hit. While these events may have put a halt on socializing and game playing in the last few months, the senior center is back in action and ready to rock.
“Everything that’s happened is almost a blessing in disguise,” said Denise Sorenson, Senior Center board member. “It has been amazing to see people step up. We truly have a generous and wonderful community.”
Stepping up is exactly what has happened. Since the center dining hall was closed, they began offering pick-up and delivery meals. “Our first day we did 12 meals, and we are now averaging 70-80 meals a day,” said Darrell Kelley, Senior Center coordinator. Their highest day being over 140 meals served to the community.
While COVID-19 brought about a number of changes, it also allowed for natural growth and development.
“The dining room has been given a fresh coat of paint and we have reorganized inside to increase cleanliness,” Kelley said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe space for everyone and reduce risk to the best of our ability.”
The board’s hope for the center is that it will remain a vital part of the Emmett community. “We want our numbers to increase from 40 people dining in, to 150 people. We want to have two meal times and for people to become a part of this amazing community.” Kelley said.
Dining room meals will resume on June 29th and will be limited to 50 people eating in the dining room at a time. There will be three people to a table unless you come as a family.
To go orders will be available and the center is working on a plan to continue deliveries. The center asks that you call 208-365-4343 to let them know your needs. That includes grocery shopping and delivery as well as prescription pick up and delivery.
“We need to know who needs things so we can determine the best course of action,” Kelley said.
Bingo will be starting again on July 1st and there will be an added Bingo time. Games will be played on Wednesday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and no entry will be allowed after 6:20 p.m for Wednesday and Friday’s games. Saturday’s game doors will open at 1:00 p.m. and no entry is allowed after 1:30 p.m.
The silent auction and thrift store will now be combined and located in the room next to the office. All other activities are still on hold but will be returning soon.
One last change has been the new additions to the Board.
According to a release from the Board of Directors “some Board members have decided that they can no longer serve on the Board and the Board has moved to expand the number of Board members. More information will be coming out as the Board continues to work to create a sustainable and effective plan for the Center to be successful.”
If you or someone you know is interested in serving, please contact Denise Sorenson at 208-781-2148.