The Taneytown Senior Citizens Center will have a new caterer Monday, when the Brethren Service Center of New Windsor will begin providing lunch.
The Brethren Service Center also cooks meals for senior centers in Westminster, New Windsor and Sykesville.
Under the new contract, which will run through Sept. 30, 1994, the Brethren Service Center will cook and deliver lunch five days a week, for an average of 25 people, at a cost of $3.57 for the meal and 14.5 cents for milk, said Rich Shelton, a Carroll County buyer.
For about four years, the Taneytown center's lunches have been cooked at Thunderhead Bowling Lanes in Taneytown, where the seniors used to meet. But the bowling alley did not deliver the food to the senior center on Robert's Mill Road, said Lynette Brewer, the county Bureau of Aging's community services supervisor, so the senior center had to rely on paid staff members or volunteers to pick up the meal every day. Because the food containers can be heavy, the chore presented problems for some staff and volunteers.
By switching vendors, she said, the county would solve the delivery problem and save money.
Ms. Brewer said the savings could amount to "several thousand dollars" over the life of the contract.
The Brethren Service Center can provide delivery service at competitive prices, Ms. Brewer said, because it already sends a delivery truck to the Taneytown area each day.
Mr. Shelton said that because the Brethren Center prepares meals for other senior centers, the switch also will allow the county to consolidate contracts, which should reduce administrative costs.
There will be no difference in cost to the Taneytown seniors, Ms. Brewer said.
Seniors who eat lunch are asked to make a donation to pay for the meal, but no particular amount is suggested, said Kitty Devilbiss, center manager.
Ms. Brewer said the Brethren Service Center will provide a menu similar to that provided by the bowling alley. She said all menus are approved by dietitians at both the county and state levels.
Louise Arvin, the bowling alley manager, said her business will miss the income from the senior center contract.
However, she said, she expects no layoffs at the bowling alley, although some current openings at the bowling alley may not be filled.
Reaction to the change among seniors at the Taneytown center was mixed. Some, such as Walter Strzelczyk, said they would keep an open mind until they tasted the new caterer's food.
However, his wife, Germaine Strzelczyk, said she was annoyed that the seniors were not consulted before the change was made.
Elsie Carver said she had tasted Brethren Service Center food at the Westminster senior center.
"Everything was in thick gravy, and I couldn't take it," she said. "[But] I'm going to give it a try."