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For 50 years, Nancy Jarred has helped operate a meal site at the Tingley community building in partnership with Connections Agency on Aging.
A celebration in her honor is being held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday February 23 at the Tingley community building.
Connections Agency on Aging is asking that people RSVP by calling 800-432-9209 extension 8702 prior to February 16 if they would like to take part in the roast beef dinner being served for Jarred’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Jarred credits Georgetta Kinne for promoting Tingley and getting the site started there.
“It wasn’t originally going to be in Tingley,” Jarred said, “it was going to be in Mount Ayr.”
Ron Landphair’s mother, Nola, started the Mount Ayr meal site at the First Christian Church, and the program moved to the American Legion building for awhile. The Mount Ayr meal site moved to another church prior to closing down due to lack of attendance.
In the early days of the program, two employees plus volunteers helped the Tingley meal site get off to a successful start. Jarred recalled attendance being over 100 people on a regular basis, and she helped prepare meals on site four days a week.
“Time really went fast,” Jarred said, “I’ve worked with a lot of nice people. I was here when their parents were here, and now I’m seeing another generation.”
Now catered by Trio out of Council Bluffs, healthy meals are served to adults age 60 or over every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at noon in the Tingley Community Building. Meals are provided on a voluntary contribution basis, and individuals are given the opportunity to contribute towards the cost of the meal. A suggested donation of $5 per meal helps supplement the program.
One of roughly 30 sites in south central Iowa, the Tingley congregate meal site allows friends to gather for fellowship, singing, bingo, card games as well as a hot meal each week.
“Nancy really spoils us a lot,” Charlene Ford noted.
“She’s wonderful,” JoAnn MacDonald agreed, “she spoils us.”
“It seems like family when you come here,” Jarred said, “I especially enjoy the special entertainment, music and parties we have.”
A gospel trio, the Tingley Kitchen Band, and little fiddlers have come over the years to provide special programs. They even hosted their own Olympic games
with bicycle races, shuffle board, and other games.
In addition to the congregate meals served three days a week, a new Connections Cafe program is also available. The Connections Café is a partnership between Connections and licensed food service establishments like restaurants, food trucks, cafés, convenience stores, and grocery stores with hot and cold food options.
The Wagon Wheel Cafe in Tingley began partnering with the Connections Area Agency on Aging on March 7, 2022 to bring the Connections Cafe program to the area.
Breakfast is provided all day Monday-Saturday and Sunday until 10:30 at the Wagon Wheel Cafe. On the days the meal site is not at the community building, the Wagon Wheel also serves dine-in or take-out lunch from 10:30 a.m. to close.
“Donnetta and I support each other,” Jarred remarked.
The Connections Cafe card is good at any restaurant in Iowa sponsoring the Connection Cafe program including the Wagon Wheel Cafe in Tingley, Roost-Grace-Grits in Afton, 3 C’s Diner in Corning. To participate in the Connections Café, individuals must be 60 years of age or older, or a spouse of an eligible individual regardless of age. Although there is currently a waiting list, you can get additional information about dining at the Connections Cafes, by calling 800 432-9209, Ext 8702.