Garfield County contracts with Basalt caterer for senior meal sites, starting Tuesday
Aspen Chef has also worked with Eagle and Pitkin counties
Garfield County Senior Programs is working with Basalt-based caterer Aspen Chef to resume senior meal sites in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale starting next week.
County commissioners last week awarded a contract to Alan Kokish of Aspen Chef to provide lunches for seniors at three congregate meal sites on the eastern end of the county.
Meals are slated to be served in Glenwood Springs on Tuesdays and Fridays at both Sunnyside Retirement Center, 601 21st St., and Colorado Mountain College, 1402 Blake St., in the Lucy Huntley Senior Center.
Meals are also scheduled to resume on Wednesdays at The Orchard Church, 110 Snowmass Drive, in Carbondale, a county news release states.
Congregate meals across the county were suspended during the pandemic, and the county began providing grab-and-go lunches and home-delivered meals under a special waiver.
That service was suspended on Jan. 20 in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale while a new caterer was sought. Sunlight Mountain Resort had been preparing the meals but gave it up due in part to the logistics of transporting the meals to town.
The new contract with Aspen Chef starts Monday.
Kokish has provided senior meals in both Eagle and Pitkin counties. The Garfield County contract, approved 3-0 by the commissioners, is not to exceed $47,500 and runs through June. At that time it can be renewed for two additional one-year terms, the news release states.
The program is funded by a federal grant from the Area Agency on Aging, Garfield County general funds, contributions from local entities and donations from participants.
“We’re very excited to be working with Alan, who is going to be a great partner,” Garfield County Senior Programs Manager Judy Martin said in the release. “Alan’s a very innovative chef and the seniors (in Eagle and Pitkin counties) loved his meals.”
The contract does not include home-delivered meals, which is still being handled separately by the nonprofit Valley Meals and More in Carbondale and, to a limited degree based on physician referrals, by Valley View Hospital’s Meals on Wheels program in Glenwood Springs.
“We are referring all of the folks who want home delivery in this section of the county to Valley View or Valley Meals,” Martin said in follow-up to the news release.
Western Garfield County, from New Castle to Battlement Mesa, also continues to be served by Grand River Health’s Meals on Wheels program.
“We are staffed to cover the seven meal sites only,” she said of the county program that also includes meal sites on certain days in New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute.
“Home delivery, which we never did before the pandemic, and grab-and-go meals were administered on a waiver until we could return to congregate meals,” Martin explained.
Kokish has worked as a chef in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1992 and has provided similar meals services for Eagle County for the past four years. Recently, he filled in preparing meals for seniors in Pitkin County.
Both Eagle County Healthy Aging and Pitkin County Senior Services submitted letters of recommendation to Garfield County in support of hiring Kokish.
“Alan has taken into special consideration this older adult population, as he plans the meals a month in advance,” the Eagle County support letter read. “Alan has stated that this catering opportunity is a way for him to ‘give back to the community.’”
Anyone looking to make a reservation for the various congregate meals can call the Garfield County Senior Programs food line at 970-665-0041.
All meals are served at noon and menus can be found online at Garfield-County.com/human-services/senior-menu/.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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