Pagosa Senior Center joins with Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership to enhance nutrition services

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By Rose Chavez

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Senior Center and the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) are joining forces, along with a number of other local organizations, to support enhanced nutrition services for our senior community and their families by growing fresh food in the Community Garden Dome (CGD) in downtown Pagosa Springs. 

The complementary nature of this collaboration allows these organizations to deepen our impact and reach in the Archuleta community by growing healthy food and self-reliance through social and educational opportunities about sustainable agricultural practices using local renewable energy. Food grown in the CGD is donated where each group specifies or is eaten by participants. 

The GGP will debut new signs on its site in Centennial Park in the near future describing the purpose of each dome, including the Community Garden Dome, the Education Dome and the Innovation Dome. These signs are provided in partnership with the Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board. 

According to the GGP, “Food security is a useful measure of household and individual welfare and, of course, food insecurity occurs within our community. The Community Garden Dome demonstrates sustainable food production, provides space for groups to garden year-round and provides food to those who experience food insecurity. The CGD brings together organizations whose goals address these issues. The work in the greenhouse supports their interests in the community and facilitates working together in the same space to foster cooperation and collaboration. The CGD is critical to engaging the community at large in actual growing experiences and to illustrating self-sufficiency.

“A goal of the CGD is to maximize the amount of healthy food distributed to the greater community. This may include families in need, individuals desiring a healthier diet and families, friends and neighbors of participants. Community gardeners work together to manage soil health and insect pests with natural methods. The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership encourages a representative cross-section of Pagosa Springs’ groups to demonstrate these concepts of sustainable food production. The values inherent in these growing activities go a long way toward bringing participants a greater sense of security. These same values promote food equity, assure food safety, and improve mental, emotional and physical health.”

Community members are invited to join the Senior Center and the GGP Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. at the Community Garden Dome, located in Centennial Park just off U.S. 160 and 5th Street. We will enjoy a tour of the Community Garden Dome and will have a discussion about the community and health-promoting benefits of growing local and seasonal food using local renewable energy. 

Senior Center Christmas Party Dec. 21 

The community is invited to attend a casual and festive Christmas party at the Senior Center on Wednesday, Dec. 21, from noon to 3 p.m. 

Come for lunch and stay for a joyful time together. Local musicians will provide two 45-minute sets of holiday music and we will follow lunch with hot coffee served alongside house-made holiday desserts. 

Please RSVP via text at (970) 264-2167. We are planning a pseudo snow fight, some shenanigans with Santa Claus and a few free door prizes to jazz up the moments we share together. 

We invite community members to join in serving our seniors and their families by offering a donation of shelf-stable foods or warm clothing this holiday season. 

Support the Senior Center by ‘adopting’ a senior

To round out our year-end fundraising efforts, Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) and the Senior Center are announcing our “Adopt A Senior” campaign. 

As food costs continue to rise and cost of living grows in our beloved Pagosa Country, we are hoping the community will stand in solidarity with our Pagosa seniors and help pay for wholesome and nutritious meals, medical monitoring and social activities for our community in need. 

We have a variety of price points that can fit anyone’s budget: $10 equals one senior meal, $50 equals five senior meals, $250 equals 25 senior meals $650 feeds a senior for three months, $1,300 feeds a senior for six months and $2,600 feeds a senior for one year. 

You are welcome to make your donation via snail mail, online on our website at www.psseniors.org, or feel free to walk in during our office hours and drop off your donation. 

COVID-19 test

Stop by the Senior Center to pick up a pack of five free COVID-19 tests kits for your personal use. These kits are available to anyone in the public that needs affordable access for health promotion and disease prevention. 

Text reservations

Text us at (970) 264-2167. The Community Cafe is now accepting text messaging for meal reservations, cancellations and/or communication of any kind. When texting, please include your name, phone number and the days you want a meal. If you are calling to cancel a reservation, please include your name, phone number and the days you want to cancel. 

Texting services are available for dining-in meal reservations, Grab-n-Go meals and Meals on Wheels recipients.

Mobile food pantry service available for seniors

The Senior Center would like to remind the community about our mobile food pantry services we provide in partnership with Archuleta County MET to seniors age 60 and older throughout most areas of Archuleta County. 

In order to participate in this program, community members must visit with Barbara Noriega at the Senior Center, located in the Ross Aragon Community Center, to fill out an application to qualify for hot meal delivery service and/or the mobile pantry service. 

The application, called the dining assessment form, is also available on our website at the bottom of the Community Cafe page: http://www.psseniors.org/community-cafeacute.html. For more information, contact us at (970) 264-2167.

Mahjong

Mahjong is a 19th century Chinese tile-based game that is commonly played with four players. Each player receives 13 tiles with a goal to make matching sets and pairs (like poker). To win, a player must form four sets and one pair. Come to the Senior Center to learn or play every Tuesday at 1:15 p.m.

Medicare call by
appointment 

For anyone who needs help enrolling and navigating Medicare plans, we help with parts A, B and D. We can also help you with fraud concerns and troubleshooting any billing issues you may be having. By appointment only. Please call our Medicare line at (970) 264-0501, ext 4. 

Hand and foot card game

Hand and foot card game to start up again at the Senior Center. Whether you are new to hand and foot or interested in learning, please join us most Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. at the Senior Center. This card game involves four rounds of playing until the final round is reached — some two to three hours later. Plan to stay and meet some new friends or catch up with those you have missed over the last couple of years. No experience is necessary so come willing to learn.

Community Cafe menu

Thursday, Dec. 15 — Beef Frito pie chile, cilantro lime rice, garden salad, fruit, milk and vanilla pudding.

Friday, Dec. 16 — Pork tenderloin with caramelized onions, apples, cranberries, couscous, asparagus, hollandaise sauce, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Monday, Dec. 19 — Chicken Dijon, broccoli and cauliflower, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Tuesday, Dec. 20 — Cod fish with steak fries, tartar sauce, garden salad, fruit, milk and chocolate pudding.

Wednesday, Dec. 21 — Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Thursday, Dec. 22 — Potato leek soup with crackers, glazed carrots, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Friday, Dec. 23 — Sliced ham with cherry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, garden salad, fruit and milk.

Grab-N-Go meals

Grab-N-Go meals reservations and cancellations are required. Please call or text by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you want to pick up a meal. A suggested donation of $5 helps to sustain our program. No one will be turned away for their inability to donate. For ages 59 and younger, the cost is $10.50. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation.

Meals on Wheels

We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents. Call or text us at (970) 264-2167.

Requesting donations

ASI has an immediate monetary need to support ongoing operations and programming that provide critical services to some of the most vulnerable in Archuleta County. Please consider donating to ASI. 

You may mail your donation to P.O. Box 3444, Pagosa Springs CO 81147 or please visit our website: http://www.psseniors.org/. Donation checks can be written to: Archuleta Seniors Inc. We are located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. 

For more information about ASI, please visit http://www.psseniors.org/.