Laura Jennings

Senior services director
Rotary Club of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

I am the director of support services and activities at the Colonial Club, a nonprofit that provides services to senior adults. Before the coronavirus hit, I scheduled all the programming. We had 20 to 25 programs going on here on any one day. We also delivered hot meals five days a week, and we had 30 to 35 people who came to eat in the building every weekday.

After we closed the building, we weren’t able to do those in-house programs. Now I help with the program to deliver meals. We opened up our meal program to anyone who requested it and who qualifies as a senior. We went from 100 meals a day to almost 160.

To minimize the risk to our drivers and our seniors, we changed our delivery schedule. Instead of delivering a hot meal five days a week, we deliver two meals on Monday and three on Wednesday. We used to have five drivers, but most of them were retirees, and they stopped delivering because of the risk of exposure to the virus. A lot of great people stepped up. Now we have 12 drivers on each day that we deliver. Several of our Rotarians now deliver meals, and our Sun Prairie club donated $2,000 to the meal program. This has been a real community effort.

This has been very difficult for our seniors stuck at home. For many of them, this is where they came to socialize. And we miss having them here. The building is so quiet. I feel we are still helping them, but we want to get them back. I hope that someday soon we’ll return to normal.

• This story originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of The Rotarian magazine.