Local Treasures with Pia: Clarkston Senior Meal Program

Clarkston, Washington – The Clarkston Valley Community Center incorporated in 1989 and it was originally named after Monsignor Hugo Pautler, a priest who divided his time between Walla Walla and Clarkston.

“A group of Catholics got together and started the center,” said Robert Burton, who’s the center board’s secretary, grant writer, board member and overall volunteer for what’s now the Clarkston Valley Community Center. “The center was started in conjunction with the Senior Round Table out of Walla Walla. They provide low cost meals for seniors.”

Today, senior meals are available three times a week for just $4 a person, if you are over 60.

“You can also pick up frozen meals to take home with you,” Burton said. “If you can’t pay the four bucks, then we are happy to feed you.”

Located in a 13,000 square foot building at 549 Fifth Street in Clarkston, the center also houses social services from Asotin County, as well as a men’s barber and a women’s beauty parlor.

“We also have health related services like fly shots and blood pressure checks,” Burton said. “And we host CPR classes.”

Most of the center activities like pinocle and bridge are geared toward a senior audience. Burton said many of the guests are low-income or they are veterans.

“It’s really hard for some of the seniors who are lonely and sometimes housebound,” Burton said. The center started delivering frozen meals to housebound seniors during COVID, and continues to do so for those who can’t leave their homes.

“I like to say that they come for the low-cost meals, but they stay for the socialization,” Burton said. “People make lifelong friends here. Some are in their 90s and they’ve been coming here for 30 years – that’s what’s so great about this place.”

At Avista, we recognize our unique position gives us the chance to contribute in an impactful way and make a real difference in people's lives. Since 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $13 million to organizations that support vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. For more information on grant applications and geographical areas covered, please visit avistafoundation.com.

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