Living Democracy

Collinsville Nutrition Center provides hot meals, fellowship

A table full of meals ready to be eatenCommunity gathering spaces where people gather together to sing songs, play games, eat a meal and enjoy each other’s company play an important role in civic life.

In Collinsville, the Nutrition Center, established in January 1983, is one such place. Run by Elizabeth Jackson, the center is near the Collinsville schools. Jackson explained that the Center serves meals to those over age 60 who are able to and want to come in for lunches.

They also prepare and deliver meals to people who are home bound. On a typical morning, one can expect to see Jackson and her volunteers busy with food preparations.

While giving me a full tour of the building and kitchen, Jackson said the staff prepares food sent in from Attalla.

Vegetable soup being ladled into a bowlThis day’s menu consisted of vegetable soup, turkey sandwiches, and a brownie for dessert. Jackson said, “We know who’s coming beforehand so we know how many meals to prepare. Today we have 32 meals to prep.”

I watched Sara Edwards, a volunteer at the Nutrition Center, prepare the soup and then ladle it into individualized portions. At the same time, I witnessed Jackson distribute the turkey, lettuce, and tomatoes to each takeout box. Janis Bone, another volunteer, was putting bread slices in a bag.

The Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments Government or TARGOV provides funding for the meals, Jackson said. She added that the Center follows state standards for preparing food.

While food was being handed out to people who came for their meals, Jackson showed me the piano she plays from time to time. She says the people love singing along as she plays. She also showed me numerous puzzles in the works. She said, “We have to leave out the complete puzzles out for a week so everyone has the chance to look at them.”

Sign saying Collinsville Nutrition CenterWhen asked to describe the place, Bone said, “It’s awesome because of the fellowship and companionship that we all have. We all look out for each other.”

On my visit, I met some very interesting people, and I enjoyed talked to everyone who come through the door. I saw big smiles on everyone who entered.

It seems the Collinsville Nutrition Center provides more than just a meal. It is a home away from home where people can come in, enjoy a hot meal, and socialize with other community members.

Last Updated: July 07, 2016