Here in Seward, Alaska, we have our American Legion Post 5 Family who work to support all our veterans and our community, and collectively our Post 5 Family has donated more than $70,000 to the Seward Senior Center over the past 10 years to support the “Take a Veteran to Lunch” program. This program is sponsored by the Seward Senior Center's federally recognized nutrition program, serving the aging community - 60 and older - with a fine dining experience at the center, and the home extension of Meals on Wheels to those who are unable to attend the senior center.
The federal nutrition program requests free-will donations from all diners, but due to protecting an individual’s dignity, some choose not to attend because of lack of funds. This is a quandary for many senior centers, where our utmost concern is serving the frail, elderly and those on a low, fixed income. No senior is ever turned away due to lack of funds, but counseled on the center's low-income programs that include: free lunch cards; senior benefits applications; Medicaid referrals to a public fee agent; heating assistance applications; and Benefits Check Up/Alaska (Medicare/Medicaid eligibility). The center also supports a plethora of community programs through our active participation with mental health services; homelessness connection; volunteer programs, including The American Legion, that encourage terrific socialization; and daily encouragement to beat the winter blues.
This is where the Senior Center's valuable community partnership with Seward Post 5 shines, Post 5 brings home the message of support to the community that the Senior Center serves, by supporting the “Take a Veteran to Lunch” program. Veterans will leave the center with more than a full stomach, and find community where everyone knows your name. Together, we are dedicated to mutual helpfulness and grateful for this empowering partnership.