Contributed by Charice Chambers
For the fourth time in as many years, oohs and aahs could be heard in the Mat-Su Senior Services dining room as hungry seniors savored the flavor of fresh caught silver salmon. For many, it is a meal they can no longer catch for themselves, nor afford to purchase at the local market.
For the fourth year in a row, the magic of “Silvers for Seniors” had happened once again, thanks to the Northern District Setnetters Association. It is the brainchild of fisherwoman Page Herring and husband Bob Cellers, who encouraged fellow members of Northern District Setnetters to donate a portion of their catch during a single day of the fishing season. The Association enthusiastically responded, filling an iced commercial tote provided by Copper River Seafoods with fresh silver salmon -- shortly after, Copper River Seafood also donated an additional 100lbs of silver salmon!
It was then delivered to the Center in time to become a much-anticipated meal. The salmon is served both at the Center and as a part of Meals on Wheels, a program delivering meals to area senior and other eligible individuals.
This year donations such as these are not only a highly anticipated culinary treat, but become vital to meeting the nutritional needs of area seniors. According to Mat-Su Senior Services Director, Rachel Greenberg, the Center provided over 94,000 meals to area seniors in the last year. With a reduction of $17,000.00 in funding this year, donations such as “Silvers for Seniors” are needed to help bridge this financial and nutrition gap.