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Senior Meal Program hires new coordinator

Bernice Schmidt, site director for Valley Senior Service, works in the kitchen at Faith Lutheran in West Fargo on Monday. Carrie Snyder

Two staffers who have served meals to seniors in Fargo will now help operate the senior meal program in West Fargo.

Bernice Schmidt of West Fargo served as the Valley Senior Service Program site director of NP Depot in Fargo for 19 years but in February, was named as the site director of West Fargo's Faith Lutheran.

Schmidt and her husband, Ted, have lived in West Fargo for more than 30 years. When approached about becoming the coordinator in West Fargo, she quickly agreed to the switch. Schmidt said the convenience of living only six blocks from the program site was a definite advantage over driving to downtown Fargo.

“I also really enjoy the people who come to the site and the many friendships that develop,” Schmidt said. “The people are so helpful and quickly volunteer to do the things that need to get done.”

Della Wolf of West Fargo had been working beside Schmidt at the Depot and once she heard of Schmidt’s departure, she decided to start working in West Fargo as well.

“Della is such a great helper, and I am glad she is here to assist me,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said she planned to serve as coordinator “as long as my health will allow me.”

“For many years she was our breakfast cook there until we discontinued that service, but she continued on directing the meals program and activities at that site. We are very excited to have her working at the Faith Lutheran Church site and know that she will do an excellent job working with the seniors and volunteers at that location,” said Brian Arett, executive director of Valley Senior Services.

Senior meals are provided at noon Monday through Friday in the fellowship hall at Faith Lutheran Church, 127 Ave. E., at a suggested price of $3.50. Meal reservations must be made no later than noon the day before by calling 356-2047. Registration for the following day is also available at the meal site. Educational and entertainment type programs are offered on a limited basis following the meal.

The West Fargo senior program was recently designated as a 501c 3 nonprofit organization by the IRS. The 501c 3 designation will allow the group to seek donations, gifts and grants to further grow the program. The program continues to expand with new ideas and opportunities for those the program serves.