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Hi, Dear Readers, I thought you might be interested in learning more about the excellent services for seniors that are available to us here in Napa County.

We’ve covered a few in the past, such as Collabria Care (formerly Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services). You will remember that they do a wonderful job of serving seniors who are experiencing memory problems, arranging for an inviting place for them to attend classes with others who are experiencing similar problems. They enjoy exercising, discussion groups and more. There is also the Hospice Program which helps comfort seniors and their families toward the end of their lives.

Collabria Care is always introducing new programs, so “stay tuned.” or (707) 258-9080. Location: 414 South Jefferson St., Napa

Our program for today is CANV (Community Action of Napa Valley) and meeting its Executive Director Drene Johnson.

Founded May 12, 1965, the Mission of CANV is to “provide services and resources that promote healthy living and encourage self-sufficiency for the vulnerable member of the community.”

As a member of the Senior Advisory Commission with the Napa Senior Center, it was a pleasure to meet Drene when she first became executive director of CANV several years ago. Since then, she has brought many new programs to CANV, and made great improvements on the existing ones.

A little background on Drene: She is a native San Franciscan, trained at Dominican College, was a medical social worker, working with kidney patients. For 18 years, she served on the board of directors for the national Kidney Foundation of Northern California, chairman for two years. She served as president of the Bodega Bay Chamber of Commerce, served on the board of directors for Napa Valley Non-Profit Coalition.

Under Drene’s watch, the following new programs have been brought to CANV: a Culinary Program for the homeless and low income; the Wellness on Wheels program for Meals on Wheels clients; and a partnership with the Paws on Wheels Program, providing a dog or cat to the Meals on Wheels clients.

Let’s dive into these individual programs: Congregate Meals is an excellent chance to meet and make new friends, as well as enjoying a nutritious, delicious lunch. Always call one day ahead.

Congregate Meal Sites: Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa, 253-6114, served Monday through Friday, lunch served at 11:30; American Canyon Senior Center, 2185 Elliot Dr., A.C., served Monday through Friday, lunch served at 11:30; St. Helena Rianda House, 1475 Main St., lunch served: Monday, Tuesday and Friday at noon.

Meals on Wheels: Volunteer Meals on Wheels Drivers will bring a nutritious, home-delivered meal along with some friendly conversation. They will check with the senior each day.

Wellness on Wheels: Wellness on Wheels collaborates with nurses from Pacific Union College (PUC) and the client’s primary care physician to support and maintain healthy independent living. CANV’s goal is to help these clients stay healthier, happier and safe at home. This service is also offered to the Meals on Wheels clients as well as the Senior Brown Bag clients. Visits are usually provided once or twice a month. During these visits PUC nurses will assess blood pressure, glucose levels, oxygen saturation, skin integrity, fall risk and psychological needs.

Paws on Wheels: Through collaboration with Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch (JARR), CANV helps provide pet food to Meals on Wheels clients who own pets. In some cases JARR will also assist with veterinary costs through an application process.

Food Pantry locations:

Napa Storehouse, 1746 Yajome St., Napa, Tuesdays: 8:45 to 11:45 a.m.; Wednesdays, 8:45 to 11:45 a.m.; Thursdays 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. (Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early)

American Canyon, Second and fourth Tuesdays, 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Harvest Freewill Baptist Church, 240 Rio Del Mar, American Canyon

Angwin Pantry, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.

St. Helena Community Pantry, 1777 Main St. (behind Seventh Day Adventist Church Hall,) Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Calistoga Cares, 1407 Third St. in Calistoga, second and Fourth Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m.

Pope Valley Farm Center, 5800 Pope Valley/Chilies Road, first Wednesdays, 2 to 5 p.m.

Berryessa, Community Church of Lake Berryessa, 6008 Steele Canyon Road, 252-4488, Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(In order to receive food, one person per household must provide two forms of ID, one with current address and one with birth date, every 30 days. You must also fill out an application upon each visit. It is suggested that you bring at least six of your own shopping bags or boxes. Just go to the location in your geographic area during the hours of service.)

Friday Free Market: A program to provide more fresh fruits and vegetables to the Napa community, on a regular basis. It occurs from 2 to 4 p.m., on select Fridays at the following locations. Other non-perishable food items are offered as well. There is no income eligibility. The schedule follows:

Napa locations: Hope Christian Center, 3875 Jefferson St., first Friday;

Napa County Health & Human Services, 2741 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, second Friday;

Napa Spanish SDA Church, 1011 Pueblo Ave., fourth Friday;

Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1226 Salvador Ave., fifth Friday;

St. Helena location: St. Helena Community Pantry, 1777 Main St, fourth Friday.

Senior Brown Bag: This program enables seniors age 60 and older to remain independent as long as possible by giving them a “Brown Bag” with approximately 10 to 14 food items twice a month. Items may include fresh fruit, canned vegetables, oatmeal, bottled beverages, pasta and canned meat. They must also be county residents, and earn no more than $1,471 per month per person or, $1,991 per couple.

Seniors pick up Brown Bags from 11 sites throughout Napa County, or volunteer drivers deliver food to those who are infirm or disabled. Averages of 226 households are served monthly.

We thank both Drene and Senior Nutrition program Director Lisa DeRose for all of this wonderful information. For any additional information on these services, please don’t hesitate to call 253-6100.

Let’s be good neighbors and pass this information on to our families and friends.

Betty Rhodes uses much of what she receives from her readers in her columns. Senior Corner belongs to seniors, so sharing is a good thing.