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Roberta Ruth, right, and Theetis Anderson enjoy lunch at Brandon Senior Center on Sept. 15
Posted September 15, 2017 | 4:07 PM

Seniors Find Cool Air, Meals, Friends at County Centers

People 60 and older can get relief at six locations through Sept. 20

With San Clemente Villas Senior Nutrition Center closed due to a power outage, Roberta Ruth and two of her friends were excited to learn they could take a Sunshine Line bus to another Hillsborough County Senior Center on Friday, Sept. 15.

Coping with Hurricane Irma and its aftermath has been challenging, and the threesome were eager for something resembling their daily routines. They found solace at Brandon Senior Center: air conditioning, a hot lunch, activities, and companionship. Brandon regulars welcomed the three storm refugees with a round of applause.

“I was tired of being home by myself,” says Ruth. “When you’re used to being around people, it’s not so great to be by yourself.”

Her friend, Theetis Anderson, agreed: “I was tired of being home.”

The hurricane knocked out power at the women’s Plant City homes. Along with no air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other amenities, the lack of electricity meant no television. “That was terrible — the worst part of it,” says Ruth, whose power returned Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Hillsborough County is offering hot meals and a cool place for senior citizens with power outages at their homes. Aging Services on Friday, Sept. 15, opened six nutrition and wellness sites to offer relief during the day to residents age 60 years and older, and served a hot lunch at each location. You do not need to be a member of the Senior Center to participate.

The sites will open again, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 18, through Wednesday, Sept. 20. The sites include:

  • Brandon Senior Center, 612 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon, (813) 635-8066 – Lunch is served at 11:45 a.m.
  • Gardenville Recreation Center, 6215 Symmes Road in Gibsonton, (813) 671-7601 – Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m.
  • Lutz Senior Center, 112 NW 1st Ave. in Lutz, (813) 264-3804 – Lunch served at noon.
  • Oaks at Riverview Senior Center, 101 E. Kirby St. in Tampa, (813) 272-6829 – Lunch is served at noon.
  • Ruskin Senior Center, 905 6th St. SE in Ruskin, (813) 672-1107 – Lunch is served at noon.
  • Wimauma Senior Center, 5714 North St. in Wimauma, (813) 671-7672 – Lunch is served at 11:45 a.m.

The sites will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 16, and Sunday, Sept. 17.

Seniors must be Hillsborough County residents and have valid IDs showing their county addresses. Residents are encouraged to call to reserve a hot lunch. Meals also will be provided outside of lunchtime hours.