The Federal Way Senior Center will get to make some much needed improvements to the facility’s kitchen thanks to a $47,000 grant from the Federal Way Rotary Club and the approval of the state’s capital budget.
At a ceremony Jan. 11, the Rotarians presented senior center representatives with a $47,000 check from the club’s annual grant program. The senior center also received another bit of good news last week when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed off on the capital improvement bill that was approved by the Legislature. Among the projects included in the budget was $175,000 to the senior center for the kitchen renovation.
Both the $47,000 and $175,000 will be used to remodel the commercial kitchen at the senior center so it can continue to provide breakfast and lunch to the residents who come.
“We strive to maintain a warm and comfortable atmosphere in our facilities, and, as a non-profit, we often do not have the resources to keep our facilities up to date and in good repair,” according to Federal Way Senior Center Executive Director Shelley Puariea in the grant application submitted to the Rotary Club.
According to the grant application, more seniors and families are visiting the center to receive meals and get food from the center’s food bank.
The center serves more than 600 people per week at the food bank and provides nearly 300 meals from the kitchen. On special event days and holiday celebrations, the senior center serves over 100 meals per day. In September of 2017, the senior center served 1,200 meals.
“The meal program provides basic food to people in need and an opportunity for our seniors to socialize with their peers and be a part of their community,” according to the grant application. “For many of them, this may be their only meal of the day as they cannot afford or are not capable of preparing well-balanced meals for themselves.”
Currently, the meals are prepared in what Puariea described as a substandard kitchen, which is appropriate for a residence and not a commercial one. It was not originally designed to serve so many meals. Not only is the kitchen and its appliances old and inadequate, but the counters are falling apart.
With a remodeled kitchen, the senior center also intends to rent out the facility more often to provide an ongoing extra source of income, according to the grant submitted to the Rotary Club. The senior center receives a good portion of its funding from rental fees.
The Rotary grant and the capital budget funds are important because, without them, the senior center would not be able to complete the kitchen renovations.
The center receives $19,250 from the City of Federal Way Human Services to help pay for the cook’s partial salary, according to the grant application.
The Federal Way Senior Center is located at 4016 S. 352nd St. outside of Federal Way in unincorporated King County. A continental breakfast program is offered starting at 8:15 a.m. Monday through Friday. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. those days.
For more information on the senior center or how to help, call 253-838-3604, or visit federalwayseniorcenter.org/.