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It's Not The Kitchen, It's What Do Trumbull Seniors Need?

A Trumbull Senior CitizenCommission discussion about kitchen issues became a call for a broad study of senior needs and how and where to meet them.

Trumbull's Senior Citizen Commission met Friday to address a sizable agenda, one that included a potentially heated discussion about problems surrounding the Senior Center cafeteria kitchen. Fortunately, the problem was deconstructed, the conversation never got hot and an appropriate longer term resolution was reached. What to do over the immediate term remains on the Commission's agenda.

For a number of years the kitchen has served meals to those participating in the Center's activities. Suddenly, apparently, the town's Health Department found the kitchen out of compliance in two regards. First, there was no longer a person possessing required state certification working in the kitchen, as is required for those serving hot meals. Second, a full service kitchen must have commercial grade equipment – range, ovens and refrigeration units, stainless steel counters, three sinks, and the like – which this kitchen lacks.

Discussion began around getting the kitchen back into service to provide other items. A suggestion approved by the members was to serve snacks and light meals until the Health Department is satisfied. The idea was supported but no next steps were identified.

First Selectman Tim Herbst then addressed the larger issue. He recommended that before the Commission spends real money it should assess the needs of the community's seniors, and whether the existing facility, the old Nichols School on Priscilla Place, is, or can be made capable of meeting those needs, which include upgrading to comply with ADA standards, among other items.

Recently appointed Commissioner Roberta Bellows spoke for Herbst's recommendation. Commission Chair, Rachel Yahwak then called for people to serve on a Long Term Needs Committee. Six members volunteered for the assignment.

The writer suggests a broader undertaking – the First Selectman should name a community citizens committee to recommend to him what services the town should provide, as well as how, where and by whom, between today and 2025. The study should be timed so initial costs can be included in the town's 2014-15 budget.

By way of background, Trumbull's 65 and older population is 6,555 today, 18.2 percent of our residents. This cohort has grown twice as fast as the town's overall population since 2000. As people live longer, it stands to reason that the population will continue to grow significantly.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

CHUCK BROWN May 14, 2013 at 09:32 PM
THE SENIOR CENTER IS OWNED BY TRUMBULL TAX PAYERS IT IS IN SENIORS BEST INTEREST TO BE CONCERNED IT NEEDS A LARGE AMOUNT OF HELP TO PREFORM BETTER COMPUTER REGISTRATION. LIST OF MEMBERS IN AND OUT OF TOWN. A WEB SITE FOR ALL TO SEE. IMPROVE CELL PHONE SERVICE TILE REPLACEMENT LOWER AREA A BETTER CLEANING SERVICE PLUS CALL SERVICE TO CHECK ON MEMBERS WHO LIVE ALONE ALL SENIORS SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID TO COMPLAIN WE OWN THE PLACE !!!!! THAANK YOU
Roy Fuchs May 15, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Mr. Brown - No disagreement about the general thrust of your comments. The story reports on a meeting. It is not an editorial, nor does it seek to list all the issues facing the Center and/or the Commission. I wrote what I heard. If the Center's needs are greater than what I reported that is because the issues were not raised at the Commission meeting I attended. What is needed if you want these improvements is to make your demands known. If the Senior Citizens Commission won't support the Center's membership, you'll have to do it yourselves. You may interested to know that I will turn 70 in November, so I am empathetic to the Center's needs.

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