Chef Rachel Kalin and Jewish Family Services’ Commitment to Feed Seniors
Jewish Family Services (JFS) is a partner of MANNA and provides a wide range of support services to adults of all faiths in WNC. As part of their services, JFS has an Elder Club where isolated older adults have the opportunity to socialize and participate in enjoyable, educational and memory-enhancing activities. During Elder Club meetings, Chef Rachel Kalin prepares vegetarian dishes.
After working for a while as a city planner, Chef Kalin decided she wanted to redirect her career and follow her passion: working with food.
“I was looking for a way out of the high stress work days found in most restaurant kitchens,” Chef Kalin says. “The position opened up at JFS just as I felt the need to pivot in a different food direction.”
For five years now, Chef Kalin has prepared nutritious meals for seniors as part of the JFS Elder Club, and speaks about loving the experience of introducing members of the Elder Club to different world cuisine, unique flavors and the creative world of vegetarian and vegan cooking.
“It doesn’t hurt to have a quality lunch program for a senior social program, does it?” Chef Kalin asks. “They certainly look forward to eating a ‘home’ cooked meal with their peers, sometimes reminiscing over food memories of the past, or quietly making mmmmmm sounds.”
Operating in Buncombe and Henderson counties, the Elder Club creates an inviting and fun atmosphere where seniors are able to enjoy delicious food with a peer community that fosters meal enjoyment and improved nutrition.