BY BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Kay Reiswig, serves as the Chapter President of the Retired and Public Employees Association (RPEA). The local RPEA works to stay current with CalPers, the organization that oversees pensions.
“That includes Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, teachers, police, postal service employees, anyone who is retired, employed by any public local, state, or national business,” said Reiswig. “RPEA California keeps us well informed on what is going on with the California State Assembly, as well as with the CalPers Board. If I belong to an organization, I usually want to be an active member contributing in some way whenever possible.”
While the senior center was forced to pivot during this time, the mainstay that keeps everyone employed, is the serving of meals. Grab and go style lunches are served in a drive through fashion, daily from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The other half of that equation is Home Delivered Meals, which takes place Monday through Friday, with additional meals sent to ensure food stability for the weekends.
Food service options are available, for members 60 and over,at no cost, although a suggested donation is encouraged to help cover costs. The suggested donation of $5.00 is a portion of the daily costs to acquire the food, supplies, staff, and in some cases transportation. The meals are what keeps staff employed and the approved food service trays required to send them out, are one of their most expensive costs. Prior to Covid, the bulk of meals were served in a congregate setting on plates but for the last 11 months, all meals have been served to go.
“The center is helpful in so many ways; we use the BESC for our general meetings/luncheons,” said Reiswig. “The Los Alamos senior centers offer so much to our senior citizens. That which helps them, helps our community as a whole.”
According to LARSO administrative staff, 3,000 meals are served a month between the two facilities. All donations are used to cover a variety of costs not funded by state or county contracts.
Any sized donations are welcomed by LARSO and are tax deductible. Senior center staff issues formal letters for all donations over $20. They want the community to know that even $5 will feed a senior in need and $4 can cover the cost of a one-way ride. They know how many people rely on the senior center and they are happy to serve. Questions can be directed to (505) 662-8920 or emailed to Director@losalamosseniorcenter.com.
RPEA also donated $1,000 to the local senior centers and another $500 to the Food Depot, due to their service to feed many throughout northern New Mexico. You can learn more about their work at www.thefooddepot.org. Donations to them can be used for their mobile pantry, food for pets, the diaper depot, food 4 kids, Covid-19 crisis support and general food service.