By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – As the winter months approach, Council on Aging (COA) director Hollie Lucht recently shared an update of new and ongoing programs and services.
Lucht noted that Elisabeth Peterleitner has joined her staff filling the position of outreach coordinator which has been vacant since Walter Rice retired earlier this year.
Among the COA’s new programs is “Commit to Be Fit.” The program begins in January and will run through April. It is a great opportunity to improve one’s physical as well as mental health.
“Anybody that calls us that is interested in committing to be fit will receive a pedometer, a water bottle and a calendar…so every day you try to push yourself to do a little bit more,” Lucht said.
“We also have an Intergenerational Pen Pal program starting with the Sherwood Middle School sixth graders…and we are taking applications for the Senior Tax Work-off program,” she continued.
Opportunities for the tax-work off program include a customer service position at the Shrewsbury Department of Public Works and assistance with grant writing, bilingual assistance, and program planning at the senior center.
To qualify, one must be at least 60 years of age and pay real estate taxes to the town of Shrewsbury. Participants must complete a minimum of 68.2 hours of service during the program year which runs from March 1 to October 31.
A $750 property tax credit will be applied to the participant’s real estate tax bill in the following fiscal year.
Leading up to the holidays the COA continues to accept “Gifts for Seniors” which is an initiative sponsored by the “In It Together Volunteer Group.” Lucht said that through Tuesday, Dec. 15, people can donate holiday cards and new gifts (with tags) that can be dropped off in the designated bin in the front entrance of the Shrewsbury Senior Center located at 98 Maple Ave.
“Grab and Go” meals are available Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Those interested in reserving a meal are reminded that this is a service reserved for Shrewsbury residents. While all meals are free, a donation of up to $2.50 is appreciated.
To reserve a meal, call the Senior Center by 10 a.m., 48 hours in advance of when the meal is desired and provide name, address, and date of birth. More information is available on the COA webpage: https://shrewsburyma.gov/941/GrabGoMeals.
“Regarding our transportation, we are increasing our hours of operation. If a senior calls and wants to take advantage of an early bird seniors’ hours in town we will start transportation a little bit earlier,” Lucht added.
For more information contact Cynthia Willis, transportation coordinator at 508-523-1307 or 508-841-8640. For full program and service information visit https://shrewsburyma.gov/555/Council-on-Aging.
Although these programs are for Shrewsbury residents only, Lucht said the Center’s staff will offer information on resources in other towns for those that need assistance.