Concerned about people on fixed incomes and their ability to make ends meet during the economic downturn, WISE & Healthy Aging is offering free, nutritional lunches at five locations across the city for those who are 60 years of age or older and for those with disabilities. The lunches are served each weekday.

“Good nutrition is important at any age, but especially for seniors in order to stay healthy and help ward off illness,” said Grace Cheng Braun, president and CEO of WISE & Healthy Aging. “With the current economic crisis, we’re finding that some seniors are not able to afford nutritious food or sometimes even regular meals, so we’re serving lunches every Monday through Friday, from noon to 1:30 p.m.”

While the primary goal of the lunches is to provide seniors with healthy, nutritious meals, many participants are finding that it provides an opportunity for them to socialize with each other.

“Seniors are often isolated, so the Healthy Lunches program offers a time when they can make new friends, visit with each other, and enjoy sharing a meal together,” Cheng Braun said.

The five sites are:

• The Senior Recreation Center, 1450 Ocean Ave., (310) 458-2219

• Reed Park, Seventh Street and Wilshire Boulevard, (310) 458-8315

• Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth St., (310) 395-8478

• WISE Adult Day Service Center, 1510 Pico Blvd., (310) 452-7802

• Virginia Avenue Park (Spanish speaking), 2200 Virginia Ave. (Thursdays only), (310) 452-7802

Advance reservations are required, and may be made by calling the site a day ahead between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $2.50 for any reserved Healthy Lunch.

For seniors who are unable to get out of the house, Meals on Wheels West offers an in-home meal delivery service. For information on Meals on Wheels West, call (310) 394-5133.

The Healthy Lunch program is supported through funding from City Hall, Los Angeles County, and WISE & Healthy Aging. For more information, call (310) 452-7802 or visit any lunch location.

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