As a services coordinator for the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, I have witnessed firsthand the dramatic difference socialization can make in the lives of senior citizens. Just sharing a meal or a conversation with someone can enrich the life of an elderly adult, especially if they are homebound or have little family support. Finding a consistent way to provide senior citizens this opportunity can be challenging, especially in the more isolated areas of the county. In the Fairview community, one organization is meeting that need and making a difference in the lives of local seniors.
The Fairview Welcome Table started in 2011, offers a home-cooked meal each Thursday morning (except during summer months) to any and everyone who wants to attend. It is located in the basement of Fairview Christian Fellowship behind the Fairview Public library. Staffed entirely by volunteers, this weekly luncheon provides a nutritious meal with community companionship. Barbara Trombatore leads the dedicated group of volunteers who organize, cook and feed over 75 people each week. Since there is no other senior dining site in the Fairview community, this service is invaluable to the local seniors who attend.
I use the Welcome Table as a socialization resource when I visit elderly clients in Fairview. A number of seniors have attended once or twice, but several have formed a core group of “regulars” who eat together each week. They enjoy the fellowship of new friends and for some; it is their only socialization opportunity. In fact, members of this group now socialize with each other away from the Welcome Table and plan other social events together. I would like to extend a big thank-you to everyone involved with the Fairview Welcome Table. It has been a positive resource for the COABC in the Fairview community.