MARION, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Starting on Wednesday, Marion is now making it easier for seniors to get meals and social opportunities they may otherwise not receive.
It's through a new cafe called Encore Cafe in Marion and it was made possible by a new partnership between the Marion Public Library, Parks and Rec, and the Heritage Area Agency on Aging.
Several years ago, meals were offered at Lowe Park in Marion but the program was discontinued due to a loss in funding.
Summit Pointe and the Witwer Healthy Aging forged a partnership to provide meals twice per month at Lowe Park, but still the city says seniors have been looking for additional options for dining and socializing.
This program is also bringing educational and health-related programming that will be offered after each meal.
These meals will also be catered by the Marion Hy-Vee and will range from all different choices from turkey and mash potatoes to tacos and pasta.
A suggested donation of $5 is asked of anyone 60 or older, $8 is requested for anyone under 60, however the city says no one will be turned away if the cost is a barrier to participate.
The cost of the meals is funded through a grant from the Heritage Agency on Aging.
The program will be at the library's Cafe' on Mondays and Fridays and at Lowe Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon, along with a full salad bar.
This program is also open to anyone even if they live outside of Marion. Advance registration (one day prior) is requested. To register, simply call the Marion Public Library at 319-377-3412 or visit the library website (www.marionpubliclibrary.org) to complete the online form.
On May 9, a noon Encore will have it's first ribbon cutting ceremony at Lowe Park.