Center: ‘So good to get out of the house’

Lunch patrons, from left, John Jeffrey, Jaydene Packer, Jack Sheely, and Chuck Packer share a smile during the lunchtime rush on Monday afternoon. Monday was the first day the Payette Senior Center opened as Idaho continues its phased reopening procedures.

PAYETTE — Being shut down since mid-March, The Payette Senior Center reopened its doors on Monday afternoon to a plethora of patrons seeking lunch and some social time.

All staff members preparing food and bussing tables were clad in protective masks and gloves, while patrons notably opted to go without.

“That three months felt like three years,” said Kathy Patrick, Payette Senior Center’s Director.

Patrick wears many hats in the city of Payette, as she also serves on the Payette City Council.

She explained how the center’s reopening is a good thing for residents as it gives a venue for socialization.

“They’re so glad to be back and socializing,” said Patrick.

She explained how the meals are a great time for people to interact and have a meal.

“It’s great! We’re free and amongst the living. It feels so good to get out of the house,” said Jack Sheely, one of the patrons who came out to have a bite with friends.

“Sure nice to be around people again,” he added.

The Payette Senior Center, like its director, also wears more than one hat: it serves as the site for a Meals on Wheels operation for residents of Payette and Fruitland. Patrick explained that this operation serves 50 people per day and was still continuing serving residents through the closure as she noted that the needs are still there.

“As far as I know, we’re going full bore,” said Patrick.

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