Lenora Stoehr Jorstad was a whirl of activity at the La Crescent Community Center as she made sure everything was just right for her early customers on a recent morning.
Jorstad has been the site manager for La Crescent Senior Dining since last August, although it’s not the first time she’s held the job.
“I was the site manager here for about five years, starting in 1990,” she said.
Back then, Jorstad said about 38 diners a day typically came for lunch. Now, the number is a bit lower, although Jorstad believes there are many more seniors who could avail of the service.
Jorstad clearly enjoys her job, especially the bits that involve mixing with the customers, most of whom are regulars.
“I’m 88 years young,” she said. “I call this my fun job”
The freshly cooked meals are made by Semcac, a community action agency, at the group’s Rushford kitchen, and are available for those aged 60 or above for $4 each or $17.50 for five meals. Everyone is welcome, although those aged younger than 60 are asked to pay $7 a meal.
Jorstad makes sure everything runs smoothly, whether that’s the volume on the music from the stereo system that serenades the diners, or helping coordinate the birthdays celebrated monthly.
Speakers also often come to speak to the senior diners on a range of topics, while schoolchildren come to sing to the diners monthly.
Jorstad grew up in La Cresent and after marrying moved to Seattle, where she lived for 34 years and worked as a secretary. When her husband Bob retired, the couple moved back to La Crescent.
She has one daughter and six stepchildren from her second marriage to Jerome Jorstad, who she met after Bob, her husband of 52 years, passed away.
Jorstad has a long history serving the La Crescent community, including as a past unit president for the American Legion Auxiliary and as a former foster grandparent at La Crescent Elementary School.
She’s a big hit with the senior diners at the community center, who were full of praise for her during a meal service this week.
“Our seniors are just wonderful,” Jorstad said.
Carol Leidel, one of the diners, said she keeps coming back because of the “camaraderie, jokes, music and food.”
Weekly menus for La Crescent Senior Dining, which runs Monday to Friday at the La Crescent Community Center, 336 S. 1st St., are published in the Houston County News. Call Jorstad at 507-895-6585 between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday one day ahead to make a reservation or for more information.