Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Septembre Torres manages senior dining program

  • What part of being site manager of senior dining has surprised Septembre Torres: “How much people love me,” she laughed....
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  • Septembre Torres moved to Redwood Falls on Thanksgiving Day of last year. “I have family in Redwood Falls, and decided to give it a try. I wanted a change of scenery for my kids,” she said. Given Torres lived in Yosimite National Park at the time, that’s quite the scenery change. “I didn’t have a job lined up when I came here; I just believed God would provide.” Torres’ mother-in-law volunteers at the senior center, and was aware the dining program was in need of a site manager. “This was right down my line. I was an assistant manager of a grocery store, and an activities assistant at a skilled nursing facility,” Torres said. “This sort of combines both of those jobs.” Torres has managed the senior dining program in Redwood Falls since the day after Christmas. She is responsibible for both the senior dining program, and the Redwood Falls Meals on Wheels program. Between the two, she sees that an average of 35-40 senior residents of the city get a good, solid lunch five days a week. “An on our two dollar days, that could go up to 60 people,” she added. “My main goal is just to have more people come here to eat,” Torres said. “In other towns, senior dining programs have been closing from lack of funding. Since I’ve been here, the numbers have been slowly growing. “Most people aren’t aware that anyone can eat lunch at the Senior Center. It’s not just limited to seniors,” Torres said. “It costs seven dollars if you’re under 60, four dollars for 60 and over, and $3.50 for children. The food is excellent, prepared by the Roadhouse Bar and Grill in Wabasso.” The senior dining program is actually organized by Lutheran Social Services, which is also responsible for the menus, which are drawn up with the help of a diatary nutritionist. “When the menus are sent to me, I go over them and discuss them with the seniors,” Torres said. “We go over what we like and don’t like, and send our suggestions back to Lutheran Social Services.” A typical day for Torres starts with her coming in at 9 a.m. and having breakfast snacks with the earliest volunteers. Her work day usually ends at around 1 p.m., after the clean up is underway. Once the catered food arrives, Torres finds she has to put some attention on just not getting in the way. “The volunteers are all very good, and know what to do,” she said. “I’m accountable for the quality of the food, for making sure they’re in the correct portions, and makind sure the diners get what they want.” Having the Senior Center based at Reede Gray Elementary School means Torres sometimes finds herself hearing children outside her office. “The second grade classes come over to visit and play cards,” she said. What part of being site manager of senior dining has surprised Torres? “How much people love me,” she laughed. “The people who come here to dine just opened up. I can’t believe how much support I get from them all the time.”
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