Friendship Meals attendance numbers are dropping
Diners enjoy a meal provided by the Friendship Meals program that is offered in Argonia and Conway Springs.

By Jen Bookhout
    The Friendship Meals programs in Argonia and Conway Springs are experiencing below average numbers of participants. While the programs are not in immediate danger of change or cancellation, managers are concerned about the future of Friendship Meals.
    “I am a little concerned because we don’t have anybody in line,” Conway Springs Program Manager Lori Zoglmann said.
    Friendship Meals are available to anyone over the age of 60. The meals are served Monday through Friday at noon, and are a place for seniors to gather, enjoy a balanced meal and socialize, Argonia Program Manager Jerry Goodman explained.
    “This may be the only time some of them get out,” Goodman said. “Some just come to socialize with the others.”
    While fellowship is a significant benefit of the Friendship Meals, the nutritionally balanced meals are also available through delivery in the Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels serves the same meal as the Friendship Meals every day, but delivers lunch to the residence of those requesting the service.
    “With this, they do get at least one balanced meal, and they don’t have to fix it,” Goodman said of the programs.
    Both Goodman and Zoglmann are worried about the seniors in the community who are eligible for the program, but don’t participate. The lack of participation could eventually lead to the end of the program, they both said. But more importantly, they are concerned about the health of the seniors.    
    “If they live alone, I know they don’t always cook a balanced meal for themselves,” Zoglmann said. “But here, it’s balanced, and I think that’s a pretty good deal for seniors.”
    Goodman and Zoglmann hope to see their numbers increase in the future, rather than continuing to decline.
    “Friendship Meals” are served in the Argonia senior center and the Conway Springs community building. Additionally, “Meals on Wheels” will deliver lunch to a residence. A donation of $3 per meal is suggested for both programs, but not required. Volunteers for both programs are welcome as well.
    For more information on the Argonia programs, call Jerry Goodman at 620-435-6806. For more information on the Conway Springs programs, call Lori Zoglmann at 620-456-2933.