A Mount Shasta resident since the winter of 1993, Dawn Fazende founded the Mt. Shasta Meals on Wheels Auxiliary in 2010. She’s also the organizer of Wesak, and annual spiritual festival that takes place in Mount Shasta.
She first became involved with the Wesak Festival working with its founder, Dr. Joshua David Stone. When Stone passed away in 2005, she assumed the role of organizer and began donating the festival’s proceeds to the south county homebound meal delivery group.
In July of 2019, Great Northern Services assumed administration of the Senior Nutrition Program, which feeds seniors a healthy meal for lunch several days a week at a nominal cost. For those who are able to get out and about, seniors dine together at meal sites in Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir. Some are able to receive transportation services to the meal. For seniors who can’t get out each day, Meals on Wheels South Siskiyou delivers food directly to their homes.
Dawn Fazende said she realized the importance of the Meals on Wheels program when her own mother was ill. Meals on Wheels staff delivered nutritious meals for her mother and provided social interaction for her father, as well as referrals for services for both her parents. When Dawn Fazende’s mother passed, the Meals on Wheels driver, who had recently lost his own wife, stood by her father, helping him through his grief and encouraging him to participate in the senior meals program and other senior programs in his area.
“People who are homebound know they will have a visitor during the week,” Dawn Fazende said of the Meals on Wheels program. “Some of them look forward to seeing the Meals on Wheels driver almost as much as the meal. And people who are home alone but not homebound have a place to socialize and not be alone through the Siskiyou Senior Nutrition program.
Besides a meal the nutrition program provides entertainment through various activities. The activities they participate in really uplift their spirits, and let them know they are not alone in the world.”
Dawn Fazende noted that you don’t have to be a senior, age 60 or above, to enjoy a lunch at the Senior Nutrition cafes in Mount Shasta and Dunsmuir. The general public is welcome to enjoy a fresh, nutritious, home-style meal for $10 while seniors support meal costs by donating $3 if they choose to.
Meals are served at noon at the Mount Shasta City Park’s upper lodge, Monday through Thursday, and in Dunsmuir on Wednesdays at noon at the Dunsmuir Community Center.
You can make a donation to Great Northern Services’ Senior Nutrition Program online or call (530) 925-4611 for more information.