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IC Hy-Vee serves up meals for Solon seniors

100 meals for milestone Kirk Ferentz win

SOLON– It’s been a difficult year for seniors weathering the pandemic indoors.
So, when Hy-Vee offered up 100 free meals to celebrate the 100th Big Ten football win for University of Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz, Solon was ready to accept.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the Iowa City Waterfront Hy-Vee delivered the meals to the Solon United Methodist Church where a group of volunteer drivers were awaiting.
Solon was selected in large part because of its dedication to serving its senior population, according to Hy-Vee’s Nicole Reisen.
Reisen, floral manager at the Waterfront location, was contacted by Hy-Vee’s corporate office after University of Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz captured his 100th Big Ten victory against Penn State Nov. 21.
Along with some congratulatory flowers, she said, “The corporate office wanted to congratulate him and honor him with donating 100 meals to members of the community.”
Reisen sought out possible contribution sites but ended up finding the solution in her own department.
She knew of Solon’s senior meal programs through co-worker Ann Morris, whose parents Bob and Kay Morris are longtime Solon residents.
Reisen soon hooked up with Sandy Hanson of Solon Senior Advocates and the Solon Food Pantry, who helped organize meal deliveries from local restaurants to local seniors during the pandemic.
“We just got the meals taken care of and delivered and they took care of the rest,” Reisen said.
Hanson had a list of about 65 seniors who received either restaurant meals or a Thanksgiving dinner from Sam’s Main Street Market. Jill Weetman of Solon Senior Support added a few more, Hanson asked a few other people for names and was able to get 100.
“We had already done that, you know, we’d kind of been there and done that,” she explained.
Phone calls were placed to all the seniors to confirm, and some extra volunteer drivers from Old Gold Dining and Solon Pantry were recruited to cover the seven routes.
Weetman was on hand at the church to coordinate the seven delivery drivers, Hanson said. The Waterfront Market Grille department provided a meal of ham, macaroni and cheese, corn and a roll.
“It just went very well,” she added.
She complimented Hy-Vee on its ability to not only provide the 100 meals, but to drive them to Solon.
“I think the seniors have been very happy with the meals they’ve been receiving during the pandemic,” she noted.
Reisen was happy to help.
She put out feelers to find a population to serve and was glad Solon responded.
“I hope everyone enjoyed their meals,” she said. “It was good for us, too. It’s always nice to be able to go out in the community and help people out when we can. I’m glad we were able to do it.”
Reisen so enjoyed working with Hanson, albeit remotely, she and her store sent a bouquet of flowers.
“She was awesome,” Reisen added.
Hanson deferred credit.
“I was just one in a big group of people that got this together,” she said.