COA to host drive-thru Easter dinner

CASSOPOLIS — The Easter bunny will be hopping through one Cass County organization during an upcoming drive-thru dinner event.

The Cass County Council on Aging will host a drive-thru and curbside pickup Easter dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 1. The meal, which will consist of ham, roasted sweet potatoes, peas and carrots, and a cookie, will cost $5, and diners must pre-reserve meals by calling the COA at (269) 445-8100 by Wednesday, March 24. The Easter event will be hosted both at the COA’s Lowe Center, 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis, and its Front Street Crossing location, 227 S Front St., Dowagiac.

The drive-thru meal will be the fourth one hosted by the COA in the past year.

“The response to these events has been wonderful,” said COA director of community development Kelli Casey. “It’s been great for us.”

The COA began hosting drive-thru events last year when the organization closed due to COVID-19 mandates. Though the COA has begun to open in a limited capacity, Casey said the organization has chosen to continue drive-thru events due to continued indoor dining limitations.

“We thought there would be more people that would want our meals, and we know we can’t fit 100 people in our café and dining rooms, so we decided to continue this drive-thru event,” Casey said. “I think people like the ease of driving up for a great meal at a great price. It’s easy in, easy out, and it benefits the COA.”

Despite having to pivot to drive-thru events, rather than its typical in-person parties, Casey said she believes it is important to continue celebrating the holidays with the COA’s patrons.

“I think people are still reluctant to gather and celebrate, so this is something where they can still get a really nice meal and not have to go through the trouble of cooking it all themselves,” she said. “This way, they can still get their traditional Easter dinners, even if they decide not to gather with their families.”

With the COA having started to reopen its fitness center and programs, Casey is hopeful that the organization can resume its in-person celebrations by the fall.

“We miss everybody so much, and we know they miss us, but we are just keeping everyone’s safety in mind. That’s the number one priority,” she said. “Until we can celebrate the holidays together again, we are pleased to still be able to offer something.”

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