Hundreds of people rely on the Redmond Senior Center‘s kitchen for daily meals, but the deteriorating condition of the 35-year-old building had seriously hampered operations.
Through the support of community partners, the senior center has been able to completely remodel the kitchen. It’s a project that’s been years in the making.
“The senior center here has struggled for years, ever since I’ve been here, with an old kitchen that had equipment that was forever breaking down, needed to be fixed and then broke again. The cooks have always dealt with that and it’s been a total pain,” Redmond Senior Center member Tom McEneany said.
The kitchen hadn’t received an upgrade since 1990, the year it was built. The declining conditions of the kitchen made it difficult to serve Redmond’s seniors.
“We have a small army of volunteer drivers that go out every day that feed a 150 people through Meals on Wheels. Then we feed another 30-50 people here at the center,” said Diana Barker, President of the Redmond Senior Center Board of Directors.
For the members of the senior center, the kitchen means much more than just serving food.
“As you get older, people die. Friends die, families die. Isolation can really be terrible for seniors. It’s a place where people can just come and have company and talk. Quite frankly, in many ways it’s a life saver,” McEneany said.
The remodel cost about $500,000. The kitchen is now completely upgraded, fully stocked with new and reliable equipment.
“What we have now is really going to serve the community a lot better,” Barker said.
The kitchen makes a large amount of meals for their Meals on Wheels program. The senior center says it costs about $25,000 a month to fund it. Hayden Homes committed to donate $75,000 through three years to help with those funds.
A grand re-opening event for the kitchen will be held Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Redmond Senior Center. The public is invited to attend. Food, beer and wine will be served.