Program gives more than food to seniors



Trilby Rodrigues wanted to win.

Sitting at the end of one of two long, folding tables inside the Copper Cove at Lake Tulloch Homeowners Association building, the 70-year-old Copperopolis resident scanned the five bingo cards in front of her.

The couple across from her, Charles and Alice Lindstrom, as well as the lady sitting next to Rodrigues, Theresa Hernandez, each played two cards.

The 20-plus Copper-area seniors silently awaited the next number. Rodrigues needed only N-45.

Then came the call: "B-2."

"Bingo!" shouted a man from the other end of Rodrigues' table.

A collective sigh followed.

"That guy is so lucky," Rodrigues said.

After a few minutes of chatter, the bingo cycle started anew. It continued until just past noon, when the seniors have lunch, served by the Area 12 Agency on Aging.

"It's a good way to get around and meet your neighbors," said Charles Lindstrom, 66, who moved with his wife to Copperopolis in 1994.

Rodrigues, the Lindstroms and Hernandez are like many seniors in Calaveras County who look forward to Area 12's meals program as a time to socialize and have fun.

In financial hot water

Every week, meals are served cafeteria-style in Arnold, Angels Camp, Burson, Copperopolis, Valley Springs and San Andreas. In West Point, the program operates through a restaurant.

Some seniors rely on the program to be able to afford three meals a day.

However, last week, the Area 12 Agency on Aging Advisory Council voted 9-1 to suspend food services in Calaveras County unless the Board of Supervisors helps support a senior nutrition program.

The agency has operated in the red almost since it took control of the program in July. In October, the nutrition program was $31,000 over budget and losing $6,000 per month.

The Union Democrat
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