Story prepared by: Emily Taylor, Director of Wellness and Support Services
Linda and John are very good friends who enjoy spending time with each other. They are also recipients of our DISH program, which helps to contribute to their ability to have lunch and dinner outings together. The DISH program stands for Dining to Improve Socialization and Health. DISH is offered through the Area Agency on Aging 3 in order to promote socialization and minimize food insecurity. It is a restaurant based program that offers recipients of the program 6 free meals a month at participating restaurant locations.
Linda is a native of Michigan and was born in Detroit. At 4 yrs. old, she relocated to Cridersville with her family. She briefly moved away to live in Akron, OH but returned to Cridersville a few years after high school graduation. Linda is a divorcee with 1 son and 5 grandchildren who all live in Dayton. Linda said she doesn’t get to see them, but would love to be able to spend more time with them. Linda is retired but was employed as a secretary most of her life. She reports that she worked at a few different agencies in the area, but mainly Otis Wright & Sons and Lima Memorial Hospital. She enjoyed being a secretary and assisting individuals with their work. Linda enjoys hobbies such as bowling, sewing, and attending the activities at the Auglaize County Council on Aging. Linda reported that she and her friend John often attend the activities together.
John is a native of the Lima/Cridersville area. John worked in law enforcement, and was also employed at Westinghouse for a long period of time. John was married to his wife of 52 yrs., who passed away in 2016. They have 2 children together. John shared that his family has grown in numbers as he now has 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren whom he loves spending time with.
John and Linda both enjoy the benefits that the DISH program has been able to provide them. Linda says that the DISH program helps her get out of the house more and be able to eat a balanced meal. As Linda lives by herself, she shared how it can be difficult to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and cook for one person. Linda states that her and John have tried most of the restaurants that are part of the DISH program but does have a few favorites. Linda states that her favorite restaurants are “where I can get fresh vegetables. I don’t like fried food. I like a variety of fresh vegetables and meat and having the option for different selections. The program helps people get out and socialize with other people. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get out as much. It helps a lot.”
John stated that he enjoys the DISH program because of the socialization aspect as well. John states that he and Linda eat every weekend after they attend church together. John said, “We go to the restaurants and I never meet a stranger. I talk to everyone and find out how they are doing. It keeps me young.”