FILE — Regina Gage (second from left), executive director of Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, meets with seniors during the September 2021 launch of the new SOCOS Social in Soledad. The monthly program, which also takes place in Gonzales, will expand to King City in March. (Contributed)

KING CITY — A monthly social hour for active seniors in the community will be expanding its lineup to include King City, following successful programs in both Soledad and Gonzales.

Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley’s SOCOS Social (SOuth COunty Seniors Social) program has garnered much success in South Monterey County since launching last September.

The program offers a safe space for seniors age 60 and older to socialize and enjoy a free meal while listening to live music and learning about local resources. Currently, the social hours are being held monthly on the second Tuesday of the month in Soledad and on the third Thursday of the month in Gonzales.

Now, King City’s event will take place the first Thursday of the month, beginning March 3.

“Due to the popularity of our SOCOS Socials in the communities of Soledad and Gonzales, we were contacted by King City officials to start the event in their community,” said Regina Gage, executive director of MOWSV. “The need for seniors to get out and socialize is important for their health and well-being. King City is excited to join our lineup of socials by offering this opportunity to their seniors.”

During the socials, a complimentary lunch provided by area restaurants is served to the seniors, while local musicians present live music. Food Bank for Monterey County has also been supplying all guests with a free goodie box filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.

In addition, a variety of senior resources is available at the events. Seniors can speak with representatives from local agencies, including Alliance on Aging, American Red Cross, Blue Zones Project, California Highway Patrol, Covia/Home Match, ITN Monterey County (Independent Transportation Network), Interim Inc. and Legal Services for Seniors, about their concerns and receive information.

Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley, which is celebrating 50 years of service in 2022, currently delivers meals every Wednesday to homebound seniors in South Monterey County, including the cities of Soledad, Gonzales and King City.

The new socials are helping to further expand the agency’s reach in the area, according to Gage.

“We began this new program in the fall of 2021, in addition to our meal delivery program, to expand our reach and create a monthly program for active seniors, 60 years-plus, eager to interact with others after months of isolation due to Covid-19 restrictions,” Gage explained.

In King City, the first SOCOS Social will be held Thursday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the King City Rec Center, 401 Division St. Seniors age 60 and older who live in King City or the surrounding communities within Monterey County can RSVP to attend by contacting Andrea Wasson at 831-385-6748 or [email protected].

The upcoming SOCOS Social in Soledad is set for Tuesday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Soledad Community Center, 560 Walker Drive. Call 831-223-5250 to register, or visit the center to register in person.

In Gonzales, the next SOCOS Social — open to seniors over 55 — is planned for Thursday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at St. Theodore’s Church Parish Hall, 116 S. Belden St. Call Marilyn Duby at 831-675-2579 or Lupe Kinnear at 831-809-8216 to register.

Advanced registration is strongly encouraged at all the events.

For more information about the MOWSV meal service and programs, visit the website

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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