Staff member Lisa Minickiello helped hand out Grab and Go lunches outside the Plymouth Senior Center last Wednesday afternoon. On the menu that day were a variety of burgers and summer salads as a tip of the cap to Fourth of July weekend celebrations. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 09, 2020PLYMOUTH – The Coronavirus has shut down operations for the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, but director Plymouth Senior Center Director Gail Shaw and her staff didn't want their senior members to feel neglected or to do without, so two weeks ago they began a "Grab and Go" pick up lunch for them to enjoy until the regular weekly luncheons can take place at the center once again.
"The first week we had almost 50 people show up to get lunch to go," Shaw said last Wednesday.
The menu for the first week was a roast pork dinner prepared by her staff. With the Fourth of July in mind last week, they fired up the grills and boxed up a variety of burgers and summer salads for their patrons.
Shaw said seniors are welcome to stop by the center each Wednesday from noon-12:30 p.m. to pick up a take-home lunch. Upon arrival they are asked to pull past the center into the dirt parking lot where Program Assistant Flo Hunter will take their name and note how many lunches they need that day. Cars are then lined up until a staff member gives them the okay to drive to the pick-up spot outside the center's kitchen door.
"We need to have them sign in as though they were eating in our dining room," Shaw explained, "but we also want to make sure everyone keeps a safe distance as they pick up their lunches."
Adding to the Grab and Go lunch last week was some fun and cheer from Beth Musto and Sheryl Brochu of Unique Deliveries, a new entertainment service in the area.
After the governor's Stay at Home orders and social distancing rules came into play in mid-March, Musto and Brochu began a mission to help people smile during these stressful times.
Brochu said that as Easter approached and people were still asked to stay at home, she wanted to cheer her neighbors up by renting a costume and waving to them all.
"I was too late to get an Easter Bunny costume so I got an inflatable unicorn costume instead and everyone really seemed to like it," she said.
Later that day, Brochu stopped by to also try and cheer up Musto, her former co-worker. She loved Brochu's idea so much that she immediately purchased an inflatable Hippo costume for herself and "Unique Deliveries" was born.
"Pinky" and "Happy" have since attended birthday parties for both children and adults, greeted people outside of businesses and even dropped in on local daycare centers to have some fun with the kids. Each visit is unique, as their name implies, with customized songs, original poetry and activities planned to suit each. At a recent daycare visit, they even played a few games with the boys and girls, bringing lots of laughter as they floundered around in their colorful but cumbersome costumes. Their purpose, they said, is to simply make people forget about all that's going on in the world right now, if only for a short while.
"Everywhere we go, we've gotten people to laugh, dance and sing along with us. It's been great," said Brochu.
At the senior center last week, they dressed up in their inflated "Happy" and "Pinky" costumes to wave and dance to oldies tunes as people arrived to pick up their lunches.
"We just like to cheer people up and have a little fun with them. We thought some 50's tunes would be appropriate for today," said Musto.
Judging from the surprised and happy faces they saw, it was yet another mission accomplished.
The Plymouth Senior Center and their staff of Shaw, Hunter, Lisa Minickiello, Dee Zachary, John Gruz and Michael Burtt look forward to seeing everyone during their Grab and Go lunches each Wednesday this summer. Musto and Brochu also hope residents and businesses alike will check out "Unique Deliveries" on Facebook and Twitter where they can book a 20-minute visit that is sure to bring a smile or two, just like it did at the senior center last week.
"We're here to make your event special. If it's doable, we'll do it for you," they said.