On the second Monday night time of every month, Oxford residents collect on the Oxford Senior Center for meals ready by Miami University diet college students and varied volunteers. These month-to-month meals started in September 2022 and have attracted a rising crowd ever since.
The concept for the group meals got here from Nancy Parkinson, affiliate scientific lecturer in Miami’s kinesiology, diet, and well being division. Parkinson is a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, which has been one among 5 church buildings collaborating in weekly Wednesday dinners for greater than 20 years.
Parkinson mentioned she observed a necessity for a group meal in a location extra impartial than a church. She pitched the thought throughout an August assembly between the church buildings and different group organizations.
The Oxford Senior Center director, Steve Schnabl, got here to the assembly and mentioned they have been attempting to get programming again on the Senior Center.
“I assumed, ‘Well, there is a want in that group [the senior center] to offer meals and friendship and simply getting collectively as a result of we have been closed up with COVID,’” Parkinson mentioned. “And the members of the religion communities mentioned that they wished to get again to that friendship.”
While the meal takes place on the senior middle, Parkinson says the occasion is for all members of the group.
Hannah Rogers, a junior diet main, volunteers as a server on the dinners. A requirement for one among her diet courses, Rogers mentioned, is to volunteer at Oxford group occasions getting ready or serving meals.
Rogers mentioned she enjoys serving to out with the raffles on the finish of the dinner. Healthy elements and cooking provides are given out to encourage individuals to cook dinner nutritious meals.
“One time, an older man’s title was known as, and half the room began clapping and the opposite half of the room yelling, ‘You all the time win, Bob,’” Rogers mentioned. “It was actually enjoyable to look at.”
Enjoy what you are studying?
Signup for our publication
The senior middle additionally has a drive-thru possibility to choose up the meal for folks anxious about COVID-19, Parkinson mentioned.
Roger added that diet college students additionally knock on doorways of the senior middle’s residents and supply them packaged meals.
“Lots of people don’t but know concerning the dinner, so strolling across the senior middle asking, ‘Hey, would you want a free meal?’ has helped seniors be taught concerning the group dinner,” Rogers mentioned. “Most of the time, in addition they actually take pleasure in getting a free meal.”
Parkinson teaches a meals methods administration class the place her college students are assigned to plan a menu for a group occasion, corresponding to these dinners.
“Students do the costing of the menu, dietary evaluation after which assist plan. Senior college students assist plan the diet training,” Parkinson mentioned. “Part of the planning is constructed into one among my courses, so that offers them some actual world expertise.”
The group dinner on the senior middle is among the occasions placed on by the Culinary Nutrition Depot. Students within the diet and dietetics program and the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) take part in quite a lot of different packages together with a weekly Lunch and Learn program and diet training at TOPSS meals pantry.
The dinner is adopted by a diet demonstration from Parkinson’s KNH303 Food Systems Management class; Parkinson and one among her college students teaches the individuals find out how to make a meal with more healthy choices than it usually would use. The demonstration additionally teaches about what makes sure meals more healthy than others and find out how to make a balanced meal.
For November, Parkinson demonstrated find out how to make spaghetti squash alongside senior diet main Lauren Miller.
Miller is an intern by Miami’s diet division and has had Parkinson as a professor since Miller’s first 12 months. Part of her position consists of planning for the group dinner demonstrations.
“We attempt to base the meal for the demonstration on what we’re serving for the principle meal,” Miller mentioned. “We served pasta tonight, so we selected to show find out how to make spaghetti squash as a substitute.”
Miller mentioned the dinners have grow to be more and more in style.
“Everyone brings their buddies, and the primary one was a smaller group, but it surely retains rising, so clearly the phrase is getting out,” Miller mentioned. “Nancy takes some meals to all the homes close by, so I believe it is enjoyable for everybody to return hang around with their buddies and catch up.”
In addition to her diet college students, Parkinson has recruited volunteers from ROTC, Kiwanis Circle K, the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Oxford church buildings.
Paulette Worcester is a member of the Presbyterian Church, the place she was first made conscious of the group dinner and volunteered as a server on the dinner on Nov. 14.
Worcester got here to the dinner together with her husband. The two introduced an apple slab pie that Worcester made.
“It’s been enjoyable. I’ve recognized just a few of the those who have come to the dinner, some from the church,” Worcester mentioned. “It’s good to see folks and take part.”
Mickey Preston sat together with her buddies Jerri Hill and Wilma Glasshagel. Preston and Hill heard concerning the dinner from the senior middle publication, and Glasshagel heard from phrase of mouth.
An Oxford resident for 60 years, Preston has been to all the meals thus far. Her favourite dish they served was mashed potatoes and gravy.
Hill enjoys the raffles and spending time together with her buddies.
“Last time I received a reusable bag, in order that was enjoyable,” Hill mentioned. “If I wasn’t right here I’d most likely be at house with a TV dinner.”
Parkinson mentioned thus far the group meals have been funded by alumni donations to the diet division, and she or he is trying to apply for Oxford grants. The Oxford Coalition for a Healthy Community plans to pay for the January meal, and a program with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce can be within the works.
Each month, Parkinson facilities the dinner round a theme. For the month of November the dinner honored veterans. Parkinson mentioned just a few years in the past one among her college students who was within the navy had launched her to the custom of the missing comrade table.
“The desk is about for one, symbolizing the truth that some are lacking from our ranks. The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions to reply to their nation’s name of arms,” Parkinson mentioned. “I wish to thank all the college students who I’ve labored with for his or her dedication.”
The subsequent group dinner can be held on Monday, Dec. 12, and Parkinson plans to have Christmas cookie adorning on the dinner.