Lunch Is In The House
For over 50 years Friends & Co has served older adults in Minnesota by combating one of the most pressing issues seniors face, isolation. Their mission works towards this goal by providing companionship, connection, and community.
Human beings are social creatures who depend on the love, cooperation, and care an enmeshed community provides, no matter the age. When it came time to quarantine folks witnessed firsthand the isolation most commonly experienced among older adults later on in life. We may not always consider how precious the time we have with one another is or how vital our health is to enjoying that time. I can say I have been guilty of taking my good health and the six-ish decades I have left, knock on wood, for granted.
Social isolation is a growing concern for older adults, especially in the LGBTQ community, as shown by the 2022 MN LGBTQ Aging Needs Report; Thanks to this recent study we now have the updated data, stories, and the experiences of aging LGBTQ Minnesotans and how their needs have changed over the last decade. Now we look towards those who are already taking action.
Friends & Co. has stepped in with solutions to combat isolation through companionship via the telephone, one-on-one in person visits, and lively shared lunches twice a month accompanied by cheerful presenters and volunteers.
“Let’s Do Lunch” – The bi-monthly get-together welcomes older LGBTQ community members for lunch “on the house.” Attendees enjoy educational and informative programming on the local resources available to them in the metro. Anywhere between thirty and fifty members are usually in attendance. Its popularity has made the event one of the cornerstones of the work being done at Friends & Co.
I asked Dennis Glock, Marketing Director for F&C, what he thinks is so impactful about the popular event “Well, it gives them a sense of reassurance. They feel that there are still human beings out here, and some of these human beings really do care about me as an individual. And they’re here, and they’re taking their time, and they’re sharing this, and I’m feeling it and connecting with it.”
Aging doesn’t discriminate and as the need for community resources around our LGBTQ elders grows, so does the need for volunteers and support. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to the cause can check out their website, www.friendsco.org.
Upcoming dates for “Let’s Do Lunch” are August 9th and August 26th 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sign up for events through their website and keep up to date through the facebook group. All information can be found at www.friendsco.org.
Maybe there is a “free lunch,” after all.