Ozark Senior Center: Food, Friends and Family

Ozark Senior Center: Food, Friends and Family

June 20, 2022 in Agency Spotlight

Ozarks Senior Center buzzes with life. Every week day you can find activities and events, hot meals and comradery, fellowship and coffee.

Administrator Ronn Ramey testifies to the dynamic calendar, “We do group sings, line-dance lessons, bingo, karaoke, board games, needle crafts, sewing crafts, self-defense classes, exercise classes…” The list goes on. It’s important that it’s full. He says there are two critical things for seniors: socialization and good nutrition.

In our day-to -day lives most of us don’t appreciate the benefits of family, friends and co-workers – we take them for granted. However, Ramey shared that many older adults live alone. Many don’t have access to transportation, which makes social connection more of a challenge. That is one of the reasons why Ozarks Senior Center keeps their activity calendar full, and even offers rides to their seniors.

Ramey, who has been with the Senior Center for over five years says they serve nearly 1,200 individuals a month, and most are in their early 70s to late 80’s. They come for the fellowship, although “the hot lunch they have here is the only real meal they’ll eat in a day.” Ramey is dedicated to making sure their lunch is nutritious and appetizing. He believes they get great things from partnering with Ozarks Food Harvest like fresh produce or dessert. “Today we had ice cream bars. They were a huge hit! It helps us add to the overall experience for our seniors,” he says.

When seniors can’t come in for a meal, Ozarks Senior Center provides home delivered meals, too. Ramey shared that he gets calls all the time to set up meals for parents from their children who live farther away, “I hear ‘that will be the one meal my mom has. It takes such a burden off my heart because I worry about them not eating well,’ and it touches me every time. It’s gratifying to be able to step into the gap there for someone. Sometimes seniors will tell us, ‘Just getting food is the critical thing to me staying in my own home,’ and it’s so important they get to stay in their own home.”

The center even offers some transportation services for their seniors that need to get to medical appointments, and foot care clinics where seniors can have their feet and toenails cared for – it’s an issue many seniors, especially seniors with neuropathy, struggle with.

He credits the seniors themselves with the culture of care at the center. “Working with them is so touching. They look after one another. If someone isn’t here, they check in on each other, they ask us to check in on them. This is a family.”

We’re so proud to partner with Ozarks Senior Center. To learn more about them, visit them online at or at 727 N. 9th St. Ozark, MO.