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Senior Living: going behind the counter with the senior center kitchen staff

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) Kitchen assistant Theresa McMaster serves up lunch at the Alpena Senior Center.

Alpena, Mich. — The Alpena Senior Citizens Center provides meals for seniors throughout the area every week.

It’s a tall task but the staff work hard to make sure every meal is delicious and nutritious. The kitchen staff provides the fuel for area seniors day in and day out. They make between 1,500 and 1,700 meals each week, whether it’s at the senior center or through the ‘Meals on Wheels’ program. The seniors make them feel appreciated for their good cooking.

“If it wasn’t for the drivers, if it wasn’t for the front of the house, we wouldn’t see anybody, we wouldn’t have the meals,” said Theresa McMaster, kitchen assistant. “It makes your heart just… It’s a good feeling.”

McMaster has been providing different dishes for the past four years, and she knows that it’s not all business, all the time.

“We’ve got a good team back here, and we have a lot of fun,” said McMaster. “We do a lot of joking as you can tell, and it just makes the days go fast, and it makes us know that what we’re doing is really going to benefit somebody.”

A happy staff makes a happy meal, and that’s what you can expect out of the senior center kitchen every day.

“We all pull together when we need to, and everybody helps each other out, so it’s a nice place to work,” said kitchen assistant Heather Styma.