White Rock Senior Center/Courtesy photo
BY BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
The Los Alamos and White Rock senior center lunches will look a little different during an upcoming renovation plan is scheduled for the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) location.
The BESC staff will be moving their meal staff from Los Alamos to White Rock on Dec. 1 for several months. After lunch service on Wednesday. Chef Fred Ortiz, Chef Mike Mason and their kitchen assistants Aliki Benjamin and Anthony Mangan will prepare meals for both centers from the White Rock center.
The times for lunch will remain the same with lunch served from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The difference is that Los Alamos will ONLY serve in a drive thru format and White Rock will only serve meals in the dining room. Members may eat at either location.
The reason for the change is that the team must prepare all meals in one facility. This means that essentially 5 meal trucks need to pick meals up from White Rock, loading and un-loading a variety of items. The Home Delivered Meals vehicles, also called Meals on Wheels, must pick up and return to the facility. The idea of trying to coordinate that with many personal vehicles caused safety concerns.
“We will be navigating this as we go,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, Executive Director for LARSO. “We have only ever served meals for the whole community from one center just once and only for a day. We prefer to err on the side of caution and my goal is to not make my staff feel like they are drowning.”
The team will evaluate the process on Fridays to see what changes can be made. LARSO has tried throughout the pandemic, NOT to change the rules in the middle of the month, which leads to confusion for many people. Those with questions, comments or concerns can call the White Rock center and ask for Gabe at 505-672-2034 or Los Alamos Center and speak with Bernadette at 505-662-8920. If possible, the best way to submit comments is to email the centers at Director@losalamosseniorcenter.com
A secondary plan for snow days has been developed and will be shared in the near future. “Too much information at once is often hard to keep straight,” said Lauritzen. “We do ask for your patience and also ask you not to fuss at employees, as they have no say in the process.”