The Oneida Indian Nation has maintained its commitment to providing Elders with as many resources as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those resources is the daily lunch – now prepared by Turning Stone Resort Casino – and served by Elder’s Center staff, Charisse Gibson (Wolf Clan), Nancy Stratton and Brenda Hicks.

Between 40 and 50 Nation Members, as well as other American Indians age 55+ in the local area, have come to pick up their lunches at the Center. With the curbside pick-up provided by Charisse, Elders can maintain their social distancing and minimize any unnecessary physical interaction.

“The meals are delivered here each morning from the Casino and we package them up and then distribute,” Brenda said. “If we have leftovers on any particular day, we can hold on to them for others that may have missed a day.”

The curbside pick-up option has been available since April 21 when Charisse returned to assist in the delivery of meals for Elders that live in the Village of the White Pines and can’t make it to the Center.

Oliver Hill Jr. (Onondaga) is one Elder that comes up each week day. “Whatever they want to give me is alright with me,” he said happily. “Can’t beat the price obviously and I’m very grateful.”

Charisse still prepares meals for the children enrolled and attending the Early Learning Center during its limited operations. The ELC is currently operating at 50% capacity from 7:30am-5pm for parents that have returned to work.

As the Oneida Indian Nation’s Government Programs and Services continue to reopen, we will work to inform you of any changes or restrictions to programming.