Piggott Senior Center has much to offer
For many elders in the community, the Black River Area Development (BRAD) Senior Center, housed at the Piggott Community Center, has become almost a second home.
Providing good nutrition is a large part of the center's goal. At 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, the center provides hot, nutritional meals for those in attendance. These congregate meals feature one-third of the daily recommended dietary allowance. The center also provides meals to many seniors who are unable to leave their home through its home delivery program. The meals come to the center in bulk form, where they then are served in single portions.
Sharing these meals is vital to the center, as the number of congregate meals served daily is the basis upon which such sites are evaluated. Recent changes to legislature governing senior centers requires 25 on-site meals be served daily. Currently, the Piggott Senior Center averages 26 congregate meals per day, with an additional 23 meals delivered to homebound seniors.
The center's congregate meals are available to any person over age 60 at no charge, regardless of economic status. The spouse of any person over age 60 also may dine at the center, even if the spouse is younger than 60. The age requirement is the only stipulation to enjoying the free-of-charge daily meal. The meals are in no way based upon any sort of financial stipulations.
Participation in the meal program is essential in preserving the valuable center for local seniors. Organizers and participants encourage other area seniors to take part in the program, in addition to the other programs offered at the site.
"I come here every day," said Jimmy Graddy, who attends with his sister Juanita Williams. "They feed us and it's just a nice place for us to come. There are always people to visit with. It's just a nice thing."
Graddy said he has been going to the center for the last two months. In that time, he's swapped many stories, kept up with local happenings and shared meals with longtime friends.
With over 100 active members participating in the many activities and programs offered at the Piggott Senior Center, the site continues to serve its visitors well and remains popular locally.
Aside from the meals, visiting seniors also enjoy playing fun games with others, working on puzzles and crafts or simply visiting.
"There's always something to do here," Ione Redman said. "It's a good place to come and visit."
Linda Wyss enjoys what the site has to offer, pointing out its value to seniors.
"It's a place to socialize," Wyss said. "It means a lot to the seniors in our community to have something like this. I think we need to have it. We need people coming out and getting their friends to join them here. We've got to keep our numbers up."
The center has been a part of the Piggott community for over 20 years, beginning at city hall before moving to the community center.
"We offer different things to make sure there's something everyone can enjoy," said site director Jennifer Parrish, who has worked with BRAD for the last five years. "We do daily, weekly and monthly activities."
Special visitors to the center share their experiences on various topics, ranging from fun and games to healthcare. The site's Silver Sneakers program helps seniors stay active, promoting healthy choices and low-impact exercise.
"We have programs for those who want to stay active," Parrish said. "There's always something going on here. We have several seniors who just enjoy coming here to visit. There really is something for everyone."
Those who want more information about the center may call (870) 598-3993.