Picnic with a Purpose provides companionship for local seniors

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Due to the pandemic, the Whatcom Council on Aging had to cancel this summer’s Senior Day in the Park – an annual picnic and resource fair at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale – but made up for it with a week of drive-up cookouts for seniors, including one at the Blaine Senior Center on August 27.

The two organizations served about 115 barbecue meals to a line of seniors in their vehicles. In addition to hamburgers or hotdogs, fresh fruit, potato salad and a cookie, seniors took home a resource bag with information about aging in place, Medicare insurance, senior care programs and other useful knowledge for seniors.

“I think it’s wonderful that they’re trying to make up for what we’re missing out on,” said Blaine senior JoAn Newby. “Everyone appreciated the fellowship and the chance to talk to someone.”

The nonprofit Whatcom Council on Aging has hosted Senior Day in the Park for more than 20 years. This year, from August 24-28, it also hosted drive-up picnics for seniors in Sumas, Lynden, Ferndale and Bellingham. In total, the nonprofit served about 800 meals, said Julie Meyers, nutrition director for the council’s Meals on Wheels and More program.

“It was nice to be able to reach the seniors where they live,” Meyers said. “The seniors were able to connect with staff and board members they know from the senior center, so that was fun for them.”

For more information on other Whatcom Council on Aging programs, visit whatcomcoa.org.

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