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Citrus Heights Messenger

Meals on Wheels All-Seasons Café Reopens

Mar 27, 2024 04:53PM ● By Thomas J. Sullivan
Front of the Crosswoods Community Café at 6742 Auburn Boulevard. Photo provided by Sunrise Recreation and Park District


CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - The March 5 relaunch of the All-Seasons Café, a Meals on Wheels program for seniors at the Crosswoods Community Center at 6742 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights, is gaining visibility as more seniors learn about the hot lunch program’s return.

Meals on Wheels by ACC, through its All-Seasons Café, offers dine-in lunch service at the Crosswoods Community Center adjacent to the Sylvan Library between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Meals on Wheels

 A sample meal from Meals on Wheels. Photo by Tom Sullivan


The city of Citrus Heights and Sunrise Recreation and Parks District (SRPD) partnered to restart the program in response to vocal community support. The program is funded by city grant funding.

“We’re hoping that more and more seniors learn that the Citrus Heights All-Season Café has opened,” said Zach Golub, who works part time for Meals on Wheels as the local site manager.

Golub worked for Meals on Wheels’ prior lunch program at Rusch Park until its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked at its midtown Sacramento facility before returning to manage the Citrus Heights café.

“It’s good to see it return here,” Golub said. “I enjoy my work here and the seniors I meet each day.”

Individual round tables set up inside the facility provide a pleasant view of the grounds outside. Wild turkeys and wild rabbits wander by.

Keith Marvin

 Café patron Keith Marvin enjoys a meal. Photo by Tom Sullivan


Golub said he’s checking with Sunrise Recreation and Parks District to see if board games and other materials can be provided at the Citrus Heights site for seniors to enjoy. Café patrons can stay past meal hours to socialize, he said.

“Creating a space for seniors to come and enjoy a hot meal with others is crucial to addressing social, emotional and nutritional needs. Sunrise Recreation and Parks District is proud to provide the space where seniors can feel connected to one another and the community as a whole,” said Kevin Huntzinger, Sunrise Recreation and Parks District district administrator.

Frozen meals are received each week and then warmed as each senior signs in. First-time senior guests are asked to fill out a registration form, Golub said.

Keith Marvin, a long-time Citrus Heights resident, a Vietnam-era U.S. Army veteran and a San Juan High School graduate, enjoyed a hot meal that Golub brought out to him.

“I live just nearby and it’s a short walk for me to come here,” he said. “I’m grateful that I can enjoy a hot meal here. It’s delicious.”

A sample Friday meal consisted of grilled chicken parmesan with whole grain orzo and marinara sauce, broccoli and carrots, a fresh Granny Smith Apple and a carton of 1-percent milk.

A table at the front entrance invites lunch patrons to pick up a Meals on Wheels monthly calendar for all hot meals served at its facilities. There is no fee for lunch but contributions of $6 per meal are welcome to support the program.

Fliers inside the library promote the new All-Seasons Café but there’s little exterior signage outside the Crosswoods Community Center to announce the All-Seasons Café’s presence or its weekly meal hours.

That might soon change as Meals on Wheels is looking to place temporary A-frame signage outside the facility facing the parking entrance, said Krystal Sharpnack, Congregate Manager Registered Dietitian (RD) for Meals on Wheels by ACC in Sacramento.

“We’re currently rebranding to align with our national organization Meals on Wheels America and outside flags/signs might take a little while to obtain but it's on the shopping list,” Sharpnack said.

The Meals on Wheels at the Crosswoods Community Center runs through December under a one-year contract approved by the Sunrise Recreation and Parks District with a goal of serving 20 meals daily, and in time hopes to serve up to 60 meals weekly.

Funding for the Meals on Wheels daily hot lunch program comes from the city’s Community Support Funds and the 2024 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and is similar to one that was offered to local seniors before the pandemic at Rusch Community Park.

“The Meals on Wheels program return to Citrus Heights will help our senior residents continue to thrive via healthy meals and connections with other seniors. Our City Council had expressed a strong desire to revitalize this program, and we’re proud to be able to do that through this partnership with Sunrise Recreation and Parks District,” said Citrus Heights Mayor Bret Daniels.

The Sunrise Recreation and Parks District, Meals on Wheels ACC and the city of Citrus Heights are continuing to publicize the program through social media and general public outreach.

Seniors must be 60 years or better to participate or meet an exemption. For more information or to enroll in Meals on Wheels, call 916-801-7378.

Meals on Wheels by ACC All-Seasons Cafe

 Meals on Wheels by ACC, through its All-Seasons Café, offers dine-in lunch service at the Crosswoods Community Center


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