Belton Senior Activity Center restarts some programs | Coronavirus


BELTON — A group of woodcarvers — all vaccinated against COVID-19 — began meeting Monday at the Belton Senior Activity Center after more than a year without being able to meet.

The program is one of many the nonprofit center is restarting this week as more elderly residents get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Judy Owens, director of activities at the centre, said she was delighted to see seniors taking up socializing again.

Older people, she said, “have suffered during the pandemic from the lack of social interaction. … Some people, they haven’t seen him for a year.

With local vaccinations increasing, the center relaunched its woodcarving, quilting and other arts programs this week.

“If they weren’t vaccinated, we wouldn’t be doing this,” said Owens, who recently received his own doses of the vaccine.

Activities at the center, 842 Mitchell St., have been sparse since March 2020, when the state closed due to the pandemic.

The six participants in the woodcarving class all received vaccinations, Owens said. Masks and social distancing are still encouraged at the center, but small groups of vaccinated seniors can remove their masks for certain classes like line dancing. Hand sanitizer is everywhere, she says.

Other activities will start soon, Owens said. A Bible study group will begin meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, beginning May 19. Tai chi classes are scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. on June 7.

Owens said she is still looking for an instructor for an exercise class to be held from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Bingo, potlucks and dances are expected to resume later this year, although dates have not been set.

Owens said the center will help seniors schedule appointments for vaccinations, as many are confused about making appointments online. “We can help them,” she said.

The center is helping seniors with food distributions from 11 a.m. to noon every Friday during the pandemic.

“Some still don’t want to go to the store, others find it difficult to place grocery orders online,” Owens said.

The center provides between 50 and 60 bags of food each week. Items include bread, milk, meat, canned goods, boxed macaroni and cheese, toilet paper and other essentials.

Belton City Council has awarded two grants of $25,000 — the first approved in November 2020, the second on March 23 — to the senior center for its food distributions, city spokesman Paul Romer said. . The federal funds were provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“The food aid program put in place by the center has been a resounding success,” said a report from city staff.

The second grant will allow the center to continue food distributions throughout the summer, according to the report.

Owens said supporters at the center have been donating during the pandemic and she hopes to hold a garage sale over the summer.

In the meantime, getting back to normal is the goal.

“We invite people to come back,” Owens said. “We welcome everyone. We have people coming from Harker Heights, Moffat, other places coming to Belton, so we’re happy when they show up.


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