A volunteer helps distribute bowls of fried chicken noodle soup to a line of elders during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A volunteer helps distribute bowls of fried chicken noodle soup to a line of elders during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Homage nourishes seniors with Community Table Dining and Meals on Wheels

In 2022, the nonprofit served over 435,000 meals to diners at senior centers and those homebound.

EVERETT — Lunch with friends never gets old.

It only gets better.

For no cost, seniors can get a full meal, with fare such as country fried steak, pho noodle soup, teriyaki and lasagna.

Homage, a nonprofit serving seniors and people with disabilities, has a Community Table Dining program at 11 sites in the county.

In addition to a meal, people can socialize and participate in activities at senior center sites.

“It encourages folks to get out and engage with the community and others,” said Leah Hammon, the organization’s nutrition director.

At the Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett, a recent menu was baked salmon, baked potato and garden vegetables. Some people ate at round tables in the airy dining room. Others gathered around a table in the lounge. Another group at a card table played canasta over lunch.

A group of seniors gather together for a group photo at the karaoke stage during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A group of seniors gather together for a group photo at the karaoke stage during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Everett senior center serves meals Monday through Thursday. On Friday, a carryout lunch is available. The center has an art room, library, pool tables, ping pong and exercise equipment.

Lunch is served Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays at Lynnwood’s Multicultural Senior Center. Bilingual social workers help connect clients to resources for housing, medical, financial, caregiver or long-term care needs.

Unlike other meal sites, each lunch day caters to a different immigant community at the Lynnwood center, with fare from local restaurants rather than the Homage kitchen.

On Wednesdays, about 90 members of the Vietnamese community come together for a meal, live music and karaoke. Gift baskets with balloons for those with birthdays in the month add to the festivities.

Vietnamese seniors gather and talk over a meal during a community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Vietnamese seniors gather and talk over a meal during a community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lau Nguyen, a retired, 82-year-old math professor who moved from Vietnam to the United States in 2006, comes weekly with his wife, Nga Hoang.

“It is really good and healthy,” Nguyen, of Bothell, said through a translator.

At home, he sometimes feels isolated. At the senior center, he sits with his buddies and talks about the old days in Vietnam. His wife catches up with her friends. A caregiver drives them to lunch.

Fried chicken noodle soup is served with an apple and some cake during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Fried chicken noodle soup is served with an apple and some cake during a Vietnamese community lunch at the Homage Multicultural Senior Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Other dining sites are the Bakerview Apartments in Everett, Cascade Seniors in Darrington, Monroe Community Center, Granite Falls Senior Center, Lake Ballinger Center in Mountlake Terrace, Sky Valley Senior Center in Sultan, Snohomish Senior Center, Stilly Valley Center in Arlington and Tulalip Senior Center in Marysville.

In addition to community table lunches, Homage also delivers thousands of meals each week through its Meals on Wheels to those homebound.

“Last year, between those two, we served more than 435,000 meals,” Hammon said.

Of these, 65% were for Meals on Wheels and the rest for table dining.

Meals on Wheels are delivered weekly, with clients getting multiple prepared meals along with produce, milk and bread. Pet food is provided for dogs and cats.

The visits serve more than food.

“Our drivers are trained to do a wellness check, so to speak,” Hammon said. “They get to know their clients and develop a rapport. If the client expresses a need for additional support or services, the driver will notify our office team and we’ll follow up. We do a nutritional risk screen at least once annually.”

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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