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Bella Vida Senior Center Prepares, Serves Over 100,000 Meals During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Bella Vida Senior Center announced Wednesday that since the coronavirus pandemic reached Santa Clarita in March, they have prepared and served over 100,000 meals to Santa Clarita Valley seniors, officials said.

The SCV Senior Center opened its new center called “Bella Vida” in April 2019 and was setting records with attendance and activities in their first 11 months, according to officials.

However, due to the coronavirus, Bella Vida closed on March 13, but that did not stop them from serving the seniors of Santa Clarita.

“In response to the needs of seniors in the community, the center geared up to expand their meal programs for homebound seniors,” Bella Vida officials said.

The Senior Center immediately established the Bella Vida Drive-Thru lunch service for seniors which is a safe and efficient way to distribute meals to those who can drive to the Center, according to officials.

To date, Bella Vida is averaging almost 400 drive-thru meals per day, according to officials.

“The Meals on Wheels program started to grow with requests and has now doubled the number of deliveries. Almost 700 meals are brought to homes of seniors every day,” officials said.

There are 110 Meals on Wheels routes every week that leave from Bella Vida serving the seniors throughout the valley, according to officials.

“We are so proud of our volunteers and staff who continue to rise to the occasion to serve our community in this time of crisis,” said Elizabeth Hopp, board president of Bella Vida. “We are fortunate to have the support of the County of Los Angeles, the City of Santa Clarita and the many individuals who support us.”

The program is coordinated by Lynne Hazen along with over 70 volunteer drivers.

The Bella Vida kitchen is run by Joanna Vallelunga, the executive chef, leads her team of cooks and assistants with preparation beginning at 5:30 a.m. every morning.

The dedicated staff and volunteers are maximizing the new kitchen and the Grand Ballroom has turned into a production room for the over 1,100 meals prepared and packaged each day, according to officials.

It’s more than just a lunch though as the center’s Support Service Department is reaching out to over 500 seniors each week to assist with their needs. The on-line classes are also growing, and much more is planned to serve the needs of seniors.

In August, the Center reached the extraordinary milestone of serving over 100,000 meals prepared and served.

The Senior Center may be closed but is serving more than ever before, according to officials.

For more information or if you know of a Senior in need of meals and supports — call the SCV Senior Center at 661-259-9444.

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Bella Vida Senior Center Prepares, Serves Over 100,000 Meals During Coronavirus Pandemic

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