After 45 years Santa Cruz Meals on Wheels in need of new kitchen location

After 45 years of serving thousands of seniors hot meals at the Live Oak Senior Center, Meals on Wheels has to move from its Capitola Road location.The Live Oak School District says the building isn’t safe. The district’s board voted last month that it will not fund repairs for the building, leaving Meals on Wheels just a few months to figure out what to do next.A handful of other seniors gather socially at The Volunteer Center which is located next door to the Meals on Wheels building.COVID-19 cut down their social time meaning these gatherings are even more important. Where before 40 seniors might have filled the dining room now, they aren’t allowed inside because of safety concerns.It also means, the nonprofit organization will lose the commercial size kitchen it uses to prepare meals, said, Carol Childers, Assistant Program Manager for the Meals on Wheels. “The meals have been coming out of the kitchen next door for 45 years and those hot meals go to all of our meal sites throughout the county,” Childers said. “The building is literally going to fall apart.” The roof leaks, there’s potential mold and the parking lot is a mess.Live Oak School District Superintendent, Dr. Daisy Morales told us the school board was given the cost of $ 120,000 to make temporary repairs and a half million to fix it completely. “The Board said, ‘No,’ to both of those that we’re not sinking any more money into the building. We can’t, you know, it doesn’t help students, “Morales said. The district has been negotiating with Community Bridges which oversees the Meals on Wheels program for the past few years but the pandemic put talks on hold.The site rests in Supervisor Manu Koenig’s district.He met with both sides in August. He hopes to bring both sides back for talks In the meantime, he offers this suggestion: “For people who are concerned about Meals on Wheels and the actual service that’s being provided of Senior meals for people. I would say there is potentially an opportunity of Meals on Wheels working with Gray Bears which also provides Senior meals. ” Both sides say they are willing to talk but no meeting is scheduled at this time.The school district plans to use the property as a workforce site for its teachers and is willing to include Meals on Wheels in the project. “If we can’t do the venture together then they’re going to have to vacate and it’s not really us wanting to push them out or send them out, there is the idea that there are significant structural issues, “Morales said.For now, Meals on Wheels needs a new location with a commercial size kitchen in which to serve up senior meals.

After 45 years of serving thousands of seniors hot meals at the Live Oak Senior Center, Meals on Wheels has to move from its Capitola Road location.

The Live Oak School District says the building isn’t safe. The district’s board voted last month that it will not fund repairs for the building, leaving Meals on Wheels just a few months to figure out what to do next.

A handful of other seniors gather socially at The Volunteer Center which is located next door to the Meals on Wheels building.

COVID-19 cut down their social time meaning these gatherings are even more important. Where before 40 seniors might have filled the dining room now, they aren’t allowed inside because of safety concerns.

It also means the nonprofit organization will lose the commercial size kitchen it uses to prepare meals, said, Carol Childers, Assistant Program Manager for Meals on Wheels.

“The meals have been coming out of the kitchen next door for 45 years and those hot meals go to all of our meal sites throughout the county,” Childers said. “The building is literally going to fall apart.”

The roof leaks, there’s potential mold and the parking lot is a mess.

Live Oak School District Superintendent, Dr. Daisy Morales told us the school board was given the cost of $ 120,000 to make temporary repairs and a half million to fix it completely.

“The Board said, ‘Well,’ to both of those that we’re not sinking any more money into the building. We can’t, you know, it doesn’t help students,” Morales said.

The district has been negotiating with Community Bridges which oversees the Meals on Wheels program for the past few years but the pandemic put talks on hold.

The site rests in Supervisor Manu Koenig’s district.

He met with both sides in August. He hopes to bring both sides back for talks

In the meantime, he offers this suggestion: “For people who are concerned about Meals on Wheels and the actual service that’s being provided of Senior meals for people. I would say there is potentially an opportunity of Meals on Wheels working with Gray Bears which also provides Senior meals. ”

Both sides say they are willing to talk but no meeting is scheduled at this time.

The school district plans to use the property as a workforce site for its teachers and is willing to include Meals on Wheels in the project.

“If we can’t do the venture together then they’re going to have to vacate and it’s not really us wanting to push them out or send them out, there is the idea that there are significant structural issues,” Morales said.

For now, Meals on Wheels needs a new location with a commercial size kitchen in which to serve up senior meals.

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