BURRILLVILLE – A new program offering seniors the chance to gather for a free meal while gaining information on services and programs available in town was a success this week, with roughly 100 residents coming together at the Beckwith-Bruckshaw Lodge.
The town held its first “Lunch and Learn” on Tuesday, May 7, a new event organizers hope to hold quarterly in Burrillville. Attendees had the chance to meet with local vendors offering services to town seniors, and were asked to complete a survey on what types of programs and entertainment they might like to see in the future.
The series is the outgrowth of community conversations organized by Age Friendly RI, a statewide coalition that works to improve conditions for Rhode Island’s aging population. After the group’s first visit to Burrillville last September, Town Manager Michael Wood formed a committee on aging made up of officials from various town departments.
“The first thing we determined needed to be done was to compile a list of what services and programs already exist for the aging population within the town,” noted Lisa Rabideau, court clerk and administrative assistant to the chief at the Burrillville Police Department.
The group produced a tri-fold pamphlet, attached below, detailing opportunities for transportation, recreation, and other local services. They include safety services offered by the department, along with education and social programs offered by Jesse Smith Memorial Library and Parks and Recreation.
The pamphlet was sent direct mail to every senior in town claiming the senior tax exemption, as well as hand-delivered to residents of the three main senior facilities in town – Ashton Court, Bradford Court, and Stillwater Heights.
The mail out included an invitation to this week’s event, as well as coupons to enter into various raffles to be held Tuesday morning.
At the first Lunch and Learn, representatives from RIPTA were on hand to give rides, and show seniors how easy the buses are to use. Officials from Well One and Pascoag Utility District were also there, and seniors were able to grab handouts on various town-organized programs that already exist.
Raffle prizes and tickets were given for attending, as well as filling out the survey and going to the vendor tables.
The lunches will be held quarterly going forward at no cost to seniors.
Rabideau said that the group received some 95 RSVPs for the event.