Senior lunch program re-opens in Clendenin

Local News

CLENDENIN, WV (WOWK) – A lunchtime tradition is back in the town of Clendenin. People there say it is putting them one step closer to what life was like before the devastating floods of 2016.

The senior lunch program is back and in some ways, it is better than before. Seniors are once again eating lunch at the Clendenin Community Center.

“It was devastating,” said Betty Taylor, talking about the 2016 flood. “I lost everything I had, all of my belongings, all my house.”

For Taylor and many others in Clendenin, the pain from that summer is still raw. The flood didn’t just take her home and belongings it also shut down the Clendenin Community Center where she’d come to be with friends.

“People didn’t get to be with each other and socialize,” said Renee Lepley, Clendenin, WV.

Mayor Kay Summers said getting the senior lunch program back up and running was vital. There were obstacles including COVID-19 and funding. But working with Kanawha Valley Senior Services they are now back to serving people in person.

“This is like family,” Summers said. “They protect each other. We are just elated that it is getting back open and the people are coming back.”

Seniors say it is about more than having a place to go and eat. It is about being back together.

“It means the world to us,” said Taylor. “I mean it just makes me feel that things are really getting better day by day and we can see things happening. This program here, it can’t be beat.”

The community center has a brand new kitchen along with new pots and pans. There are some familiar faces, too, including Patricia Rose who prepared their meals before the flood.

“It is wonderful for them to come to a place that doesn’t cost a whole lot, it is just by donation,” Rose said. “They get a good hot meal.”

There will be a grand re-opening ceremony this Friday. Several local dignitaries will be there to celebrate.

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