LATHROP – Lathrop Vice Mayor Christopher Mateo thinks he has a way to make sure that needy seniors in the community can all get a healthy meal.
And if all goes as planned, it won’t be your run-of-the-mill fruits and vegetables either.
By following up on a tip from a friend, Mateo is currently working with a local salmon hatchery to see about receiving the fish after their eggs have been harvested. It would give seniors the opportunity to enjoy a meal high in nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids without having to break the bank to pay for them.
With the annual salmon spawn run just getting ready to begin, Mateo thinks that there’s a chance that seniors could end up with the fish – prized for its tender pink meat – in their freezer inside of the next two months.
“I figured that in this economy, anything that we could get for free would be beneficial to everybody here in the community,” Mateo said. “With the health benefits that salmon offers – the Omega-3 acids and the lean meat – it’s even better for our seniors.”
On Tuesdays, those who have a hard time covering their groceries get the opportunity to come down to the Lathrop Senior Center and receive a boost of items that will help them make it through the week. Almost all of the items are donated from local residents and food pantries that are looking to take care of seniors in the community.
But given the time of year, Mateo is hoping that the combination of salmon and fresh fruits and vegetables – which he plans on working to get donated by local growers to help supplement the program – will be a major boost and will help stretch the donations that aren’t nearly as strong as they were in years past.
“I thought about that part too, and there are lots of farms out here and maybe after the harvest some of the farmers could donate some of that to the city as well,” Mateo said. “It would be a big benefit to our seniors, and providing them with healthy food would be great.”
Mateo teamed up with City Manager Cary Keaten to write a letter to the fish hatchery last week. Word has not yet come back, but after talking to somebody at the site Mateo believes that the outlook on receiving a donation if the salmon spawn run is productive is good.