Mandan Golden Age Services and Edgewood Vista have recently partnered to bring more affordable dining options to local senior citizens.

Now individuals 60 years and older can enjoy discounted meals at Mandan Golden Age in the northwest part of town or Edgewood Vista in southeast Mandan. 

Mandan Golden Age director Debbie Lafferty said the organization had been looking for a community partner. "Where Edgewood's location is at there are a lot of elderly seniors and young seniors, baby boomers in that proximity. We thought that would be a nice extension for us to grow some of our programs."  

"We want to spread our wings here in the community of Mandan," Lafferty added. 

The meals at Edgewood are offered seven days a week and include evening meals in its Timber Rock Cafe dining room.

A voucher program is available to eligible participants through the Mandan Golden Age. Once a participant is registered, they may obtain meal vouchers at Edgewood or Mandan Golden Age. The voucher can then be redeemed for a noon or evening meal at Edgewood Vista.

Participants may make a suggested contribution of $4 per voucher, but are able to contribute any amount.

The voucher program is federally funded and operates under the Older American Act. Under the act, a senior age 60 or older qualifies to come and get a free meal. There is a suggested contribution but if the individual is not able to pay they are not turned away.

In addition, transit vouchers are available at a reduced rate through Mandan Golden Age and can be used by voucher program participants, to get to and from Edgewood Vista.

In September, administrators slowly introduced the concept to the community and it proved to be worthwhile. "Mandan is a growing community," said Gwen Beckler, Edgewood Vista's marketing director.  

"The goal is providing healthy meals to seniors," said Beckler. "We follow a very specific healthy menu, we have a variety of menu options for our residents, which is now opened up to this program."

Mandan couple Leo Jahner, 91, and Martha Jahner, 90, ate at the Timber Rock Cafe for the first time on Wednesday evening. The couple still cooks but said it was nice to have the option of dining out for $8. "I think it's wonderful," Leo said. He and his wife are on a fixed income. "That's what we got to live on," Leo added. 

For more information on the partnership, meal and transit vouchers or menus call Mandan Golden Age, 701-663-6528, or Edgewood Vista, 701-663-5664.

Reach Tyana Johnson at 701-250-8250 or editor@mandan-news.com.

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