Alexander City Nutrition Center reopens after 15 months
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alexander City Nutrition Center reopened Wednesday for the first time in 15 months, another tangible sign life is returning to normal since the pandemic.
The reopening meant the world to those who fought loneliness for more than a year.
Never before had the chatter and laughter sounded so heavenly at the Alexander City Nutrition Center. In fact, the “welcome back” sign couldn’t possibly do it justice.
For client Judy Huett, the reopening was a godsend, a miracle.
“Even when they walked in the door, their face changes and you can, you can hear in the background,” she said.
“We wanted to make sure we got here early,” said Raymond Bradford.
Bradford was the first in line, a full hour before the center reopened Wednesday. More than 30 like him followed behind.
“We were just glad when it opened back up,” Bradford said. “We were proud of it.”
“This just warms my heart,” said Jennifer Carlisle, the nutrition center’s senior manager,
This day couldn’t get here fast enough because it was Carlisle who made the hard but right decision to shut it down one day after St. Patrick’s Day more than a year ago.
“There were tears, yes. It’s been difficult. I mean, these are like your grandparents, your parents,” Carlisle said.
And incredibly, during the shutdown and the pandemic, the center didn’t lose one person to COVID-19.
“It’s more than just physical food. It’s food for the soul. It’s food for their well-being,” said M.A. Morrison, aging program director for the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission.
It felt as though they hit the “jackpot.” They survived and they’re now thriving again, together.
Carlisle says while the center was closed for more than a year, they continued to do curbside pickup for lunch.
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