Don and Connie Mahlman said they have enjoyed having lunch at Senior Diners for many years.
Connie said part of the reason they enjoy it is they like to get out and talk to people.
Don was a regular back when he retired and Connie was still working. And after Connie retired, she joined him at Senior Diners. They go almost every day.
Both agreed that the food is good.
“The cooks go out of their way and try to give us food that we like,” Connie said.
Don and Connie said there is plenty of room for more people to join in on the food and fellowship, and encouraged others to come and participate.
Senior Diners is part of the Senior Center operated by Blue Rivers Area Agency on Aging in the community building in the Fairbury City Park. Reservations are required the day before by calling 402-729-5258.
For those age 60 and older, there is a $4 suggested donation. No diner 60 or older will be turned away if they can’t make the suggested donation. Those who are dual certified (Medicare and Medicaid) may qualify for free meals. Take N Go meals are available.
For those who are under the age of 60, the cost is $6 per meal. Reservations are required the day before. Carry out meals are available.
Senior Diners also offers some entertainment and activities. Sometimes after lunch participants choose to play cards or Bingo. Participation in the entertainment or activities is not required though, Connie said, but is available for those who wish to participate.
On Valentine’s Day, Fairbury High School students did singing valentines for the diners, and the ladies attending received flowers from Ol’ Red 99.5.
Connie said that each month there is a birthday dinner, celebrating all of that month’s birthdays. On that day, the tables are decorated for the holiday that month, and things are “dressed up” – sometimes there may even be candy on the tables. While on regular days everyone goes through a line to pick up their meal, on birthday dinner days, some diners volunteer to serve the dinners to each table.
Menus are printed in the Fairbury Journal-News weekly, and will be included on the lunch menus on KGMT-KUTT during March. Monthly menus are available in Table Talk (a monthly publication of Blue Rivers Area Agency on Aging) and on Fairbury.com.
Reservations may be made on a daily basis, or longer term. Mahlmans said they make reservations for every day, and they let the center know if they are not going to be able to be there.
Transportation is available to Senior Diners for $1 roundtrip on the public transit bus. Reservations must be made for the bus ahead of time.
Senior Diners also provides Fairbury’s Meals on Wheels, which are home delivered meals. This is also a great service, the Mahlmans said. Don said when he was recovering from surgery they got meals delivered for a few weeks, and it was very helpful. For information on delivered meals, call 402-729-5258.
The Mahlmans said there might be some misconceptions about Senior Diners.
*There are no income guidelines or requirements to participate. You don’t have to be low-income.
*Senior Diners is open to anyone, regardless of their age. There is a suggested donation for those 60 and older, and a set price for those who are under 60.
*And it’s not only for those who can’t cook for themselves. It’s for anyone who wants a good meal and good conversation.