After a June break-in that left the Senior Center’s Home Delivered Meals program short two vehicles, volunteers at the SCV Senior Center made sure that meal service didn’t stop. Two battered sedans, both Saturns, take their place in the parking lot on Market Street, waiting to bring nutrition and the human touch to clients who look forward to the weekday visits.
Kathy Crone, Executive Director of the SCV Senior Center Foundation, said that the number of seniors who need services are quickly outgrowing the motor pool available, especially since the loss of the two specialized trucks earlier this year.
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“We had nine vehicles and were fundraising for the tenth when the truck was stolen,” she said. “So we’re doing a program that needs 10 vehicles with seven trucks and two cars.”
Crone explained that the program trucks were specialized vehicles that keep meals in appropriate heated or cooled compartments for delivery.
On Thursday, The Newhall Land and Farming Co. donated a “gently used” truck to help bolster the ailing fleet. Newhall Land Vice President Marlee Lauffer handed the keys to the 2006 Ford F-150 truck – appropriately silver in color – to Foundation President Patti Rasmussen.
Rasmussen was quick to mention to the small crowd gathered that if any businesses are downsizing their vehicle inventory, donations to the center are tax-deductible.
“We’ve been involved with the Senior Center for years and have donated a couple of different vehicles in the past,” Lauffer said. “We were no longer using this particular truck, and thought it would make a lot of sense to donate it to the Senior Center. Obviously their fleet is depleted with the theft that they had, but they’re growing and serving more and more people, so we thought the truck could help with the Handy Worker program and some of their other transportation needs.”
The SCV Senior Center provides numerous programs and services for its clients, including health and wellness seminars, arts and entertainment activities, handy workers and day care providers, daily lunches and more than 300 meals a day delivered to homebound seniors, many of whom would otherwise not have a hot meal to eat each day.
In June, one of the Senior Center’s nine Home Delivered Meals trucks was severely damaged and another was stolen. The stolen truck has yet to be recovered, leaving the Home Delivered Meals staff and volunteers strapped for a sufficient means of delivering meals to homebound seniors. The donation from Newhall Land is a much-needed addition to the fleet and literally will help maintain a lifeline between homebound seniors and the Senior Center.
To read about the initial break-in, click here.