LSS Meals Partners Partners with African Elder Community Meal Service
There is a growing population of East African families coming from refugee camps to Minnesota, especially to the southern-most counties including Le Sueur, Nicollet, and Blue Earth. The Horn of Africa Aid and Rehabilitation Action Network (HAARAN) estimated that in 2017 there were 200 families in the Saint Peter and Mankato areas supporting 65 elders, ages 50 and over. These elderly people are experiencing social isolation, depression and post-traumatic stress from their experiences in the refugee camps.
Through two years of building relationships with Somali Saint Peter residents, the community determined that they wanted to create a cultural-appropriate, senior congregate dining site for East African elders. The program would allow access to cultural-appropriate meals, engage in planned socialization and education activities, increase life skills, reduce isolation, and learn important coping skills.
LSS Meals is among the community partners to help launch this service, with an event scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, October 10 at the Saint Peter Senior Center.