Washington Evening Journal
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Older adults in Washington County are getting a second call to enhance their health with the launch of Encore Express, a spin-off of the award-winning Encore Café program in the Cedar Rapids area.
Encore Express kicks off May 17 when adults ages 60-plus and their spouse (regardless of age) can receive vouchers redeemable for meals at the Washington Hy-Vee, up to three vouchers per week per person. Vouchers can be redeemed for hot and prepared refrigerated meals and a container of milk.
While the program launches with voucher distribution events, it will add a group dining component at Washington’s Immanuel Lutheran Church. These meals will mirror the Encore Café program, with opportunities to socialize, play games and hear from local presenters about community events and resources. The launch of group dining is to-be-determined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This program is really addressing a need to add senior dining options in Washington and is doing it in a flexible and cost-effective way,” said Tim Getty, Regional Nutrition Coordinator at Heritage Area Agency on Aging. “I’m excited to roll out the voucher system to get Encore Express going, but can’t wait to get the group dining added as well. We’ve missed chances to share meals together during the pandemic, so adding that piece will be great for the diners to meet up with new and old friends.”
There is a suggested voluntary contribution of $5.00 per meal/voucher strictly to help cover the cost of the program. However, no eligible person will be denied service due to inability to make a contribution. The actual cost of each meal is about $8, which is covered by grant funding and the participants’ voluntary contributions.
Call Immanuel Lutheran Church at 319-653-3950 or visit during office hours Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get signed up and for more details. Participants will need to complete an intake form, and will receive additional information and vouchers.