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Coal Creek Café Provides Opportunities for Socialization, Celebration, and New Experiences

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

The Coal Creek Café is our weekday lunch café, sponsored in part by the City of Lafayette as the city’s Senior Congregate Nutrition Program. The café is a great place for older adults or anyone in need to enjoy a nutritious meal while meeting other members from the community!

Along with providing a delicious lunch, our Client Services Manager plans a variety of activities for additional socialization and new experiences. We provide free lunches in honor of most holidays - most recently, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Juneteenth. We also had Two by Two Petting Zoo visit us at Josephine Commons, bringing a llama, a mini goat, and a donkey. We recently partnered with the Lafayette First Interstate Bank to provide information about senior fraud and financial abuse to keep everyone safe and financially secure.

MaryKay, Coal Creek Café guest, interacts with a goat from Two by Two Petting Zoo

“I am so grateful to all the staff at CCMOW. When I eat at the café, everyone is always so pleasant, and the food is delicious!” said Jane, a Coal Creek Café client.

Lunch is served at the Coal Creek Café Monday-Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. We ask for a suggested donation of $3.50 for anyone over the age of 60 and $6.00 for anyone under the age of 60, but can offer meals at no cost for anyone in need!

Ryan Elementary Students Bring Music and Smiles to Coal Creek Café Guests

For many years, Ryan Elementary students have been coming to the Coal Creek Café to perform for guests. Members of the 5th grade hand bell choir and 3rd through 5th grade vocal choir take time out of their school day to perform crowd favorite songs, allowing guests to sing along to the joyful music.

After their performances, the students mingle with members of the audience, primed with questions like “What is your favorite kind of cookie?” or “What do you like most about spring?” These simple questions allow students to practice their communication skills and prompts the seniors to share stories about their childhood and their lived experiences. This partnership has been so beneficial for both groups, providing additional socialization for our clients while allowing the students to build their confidence through their performances and work on their social skills, fostering intergenerational connections as they share new ideas and life experiences. “They provide a wonderful and exciting program to the Meals on Wheels and Josephine Commons community,” a café client shared. “We love the way they have learned social skills to interact with us, something that is not always easy for young people.”

This partnership is only possible because of the dedication of Teresa Himel, Music Teacher at Ryan Elementary, who will be retiring this year after 31 years in the position.


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