Senior center expands meal service for those living on the outskirts

Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy on Wednesday and baked cod with rice pilaf on Friday? The Pleasant Senior Center has been able to utilize a grant in order to expand service to homebound seniors who live farther out of city limits and need homemade meals delivered to their doors every day.

Pleasant Senior Center Director Brandie Pettis said that “The biggest struggle we've had with homebound seniors and since I've been [Director] here is how do we reach the outskirts? How do we reach the people that can't get here or are not in our service area?...This grant has now come through and we can have the ability to do it.”

Pettis explained that the Center wants to reach seniors that may have been turned away previously for hot meal services because they lived too far out of town. 

“Do you know a neighbor? Do you have a friend? Do you know someone in your church group that…may or may not tell you that they have food insecurities, but are in a wheelchair and have a caregiver? Those are the types of people we want to be able to serve,” she explained. 

The grant from the Age and Disability Services Division—an extension of the American Rescue Plan Act funds— allows the Senior Center to expand their services all the way out to homebound seniors that live as far out as Delaney Drive out Highway 95, out to Prairie Dog Avenue in East Winnemucca, farther out Grass Valley near the Dutchman Acres area and the Jungo area, according to Pettis. 

Dawnette Jeffs, the Pleasant Senior Center Nutrition Manager, said that not only does each meal that is delivered meet certain nutritional specifications and is homemade at the Center, but the drivers that deliver the meals are also able to perform a wellness check at each residence.  

Jeffs said that each driver is a mandated reporter and looks for slurred speech, memory loss, and many more signs that a senior may be ill, injured, or need help and that they can get in touch with their emergency contact if necessary. 

Jeffs is in charge of doing service assessment to make sure seniors can utilize all the services they need. A loved one, a caregiver, a friend, or the senior themself can call the Senior Center at 775-623-6211 in order to get in touch with Jeffs or visit

Meals, which include five courses, are big enough for most seniors to eat a full meal and still have some to set aside for dinner or a snack later and the seniors will never receive a bill. The meals are free with a suggested donation of just four dollars.  

 “I think the benefit of this is extreme when you're talking about people that are in the outskirts that are depending on help with food costs, or just getting a home cooked meal or maybe somebody who isn't able to prepare their own meal. I think the benefit of nutrition is a basic need. It's also for their mental aptitude, it's getting that socialization once a day from their nutrition driver. I mean, there's so many benefits that come with just one meal delivered,” said Pettis. 

See this week's Senior Menu on Page 9