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December 31, 2008 > Senior Center offers haute cuisine

Senior Center offers haute cuisine

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By courtesy of Linda Olla

Fremont Senior Center is one of the best kept secrets in town. Many people who stroll around Lake Elizabeth are unaware that close by, at the Senior Center, a talented staff is cooking hot, delicious meals at prices less expensive than most fast food.

"The center is not only for seniors, but everyone is welcome," said Senior Center Manager Linda Olla. Home cooked meals are served Monday through Friday at 12 noon for the bargain price of $4 for members and $6 for non-members. Special meals cost a dollar more. Diners can take their pick from honey glazed salmon, barbequed ribs, curry roasted lamb, parmesan crusted tilapia, and many more delectable food options. Vegetarians are not forgotten either; there are many options on the menu for them too.

"The Chef/Food Services Manager is Ron Narayan, who has worked at the center for five years, and cares about seniors as much as he likes to make great dishes. He is assisted by Jeffrey Castillo, a new cook in the kitchen, but already loved by everyone for his baking skills and friendly personality," said Ms. Olla. "Together they make a great team, and have many fans who come to lunch almost daily."

Delicious lunches prepared on site by Chef Ron and his crew of volunteers takes care of special dietary needs including vegetarian lunches. Contact the Senior Center Office to reserve lunch meals ahead of time for pick-up. Weekly menus are also recorded on the Senior Information Line: (510) 790-6610. Volunteers are welcome to assist in the kitchen, office, welcome desk, or specialized assistance depending on area of expertise. To volunteer, visit the Senior Center office and pick up an application.

The center looks for ways to subsidize meals so seniors won't have to pay the actual cost of producing them (about $8 - $10 per person). In November, GENCO, a group of alumni from a prestigious school in the Punjab, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, stepped forward and offered to purchase lunch for one day.

This charitable organization is comprised of graduates from one of the most prestigious Engineering colleges in Punjab and Northern India, and their generosity allowed 120 seniors to enjoy a free lunch. Other organizations that have helped subsidize meals include Caltron Industries, Fremont Bank Foundation, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, RK Engineering, and SBC.

"Due to the recent challenging economy, the center is trying to raise funds to bridge the financial gap that threatens to reduce services. An annual Crab Feed fundraiser will be held Friday, February 20, 2009 at Merrill Gardens in Fremont," said Ms. Olla. "Tickets are $40 for some of the best crab you'll ever eat, as well as pasta, salad and garlic bread."

Other fundraising options include purchasing an inscribed leaf for $125, a $1000 stone on the Tree of Remembrance in the Center's lobby, an endowment, or a general donation at the office.

For more information about the February fundraiser, call Linda Olla at 790-6606, or Deborra Lay at 790-6602.

Fremont Senior Center
Central Park near Lake Elizabeth
40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 790-6600

Mon - Fri, 12 noon
Menu available at (510) 790-6610

Annual Crab Feed fundraiser
Friday, Feb 20
Merrill Gardens, Fremont
(510) 790-6606

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