WILMINGTON — Beaugard’s Southern Bar B Que — a longtime locally owned business — is the latest restaurant to provide meals to area seniors through Council on Aging’s (COA) comfort meal program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, COA has been providing “comfort meals” to older adults to address food insecurity and quality of life. Because many seniors are not able to leave their homes, they feel forgotten and isolated.
To help ease the monotony felt by many older adults, COA sought out partnerships with local restaurants to bring these comfort meals to older adults — particularly low-income older adults living in senior apartment buildings in parts of COA’s service area.
Nearly 34,000 comfort meals have been delivered since April, including 1,600 in Clinton County.
Beaugard’s began providing meals for COA’s comfort meal program in October. On specified days of the week, COA home-delivered meal provider, Clinton County Community Action Program, picks up meals from Beaugard’s. The meals include pulled chicken, green beans, potato salad and a roll, and Community Action delivers them to home-delivered meal recipients.
Being part of COA’s comfort meal program is important to owner Marty Beaugard and his family.
“I’m excited, we’re going to do some nutritious meals,” he said. “I pray that I will be a senior one day. You know, nothing is guaranteed. We’re going through some tough times, and we’ve got to take care of our people. That’s the bottom line. We can’t forget about our seniors; we’ve got to take care of them.”
For 20 years, Clinton County has embraced Beaugard’s Memphis-style BBQ, which is known for using a vinegar-based sauce as it cooks for hours on the outdoor smoker.
Marty and his wife Dianne Beaugard took over the restaurant from Beaugard’s parents in 2002. Marty, a 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran, followed in his father’s footsteps and is the chef and Bar B Que master, while Dianne handles the scheduling and administrative side of the business.
Their adult children, Marty Jr. and Dylan, helped develop the website and consulted on the menu.
“Partnering with locally owned restaurants is a win-win during the pandemic,” said Randy Quisenberry, COA’s director of Provider Services. “Not only are we bringing good, local food to older adults who’ve been homebound during the pandemic, but we’re also able to support a business with a decades-long tradition of serving Clinton County residents.”
Marty Beaugard is the current president of the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education.
He said he is proud to be a Clinton County resident. For a video discussing his involvement with COA’s comfort meal program, he wore a mask that reads “Clinton County Strong.”
Beaugard said, “Our customers were very supportive and loyal to us when we were closed because of COVID. They supported us and they came to our drive-through.”
COA’s comfort meal program is a community partnership. The meals are paid for by COA — via federal funds to expand meal service to older adults during the pandemic.
Council on Aging (COA) of Southwestern Ohio is a nonprofit organization that administers the Clinton County Elderly Services Program.
Clinton County’s Elderly Services Program helps older adult residents with services such as home-delivered meals, transportation to medical appointments, homemaking assistance, and personal care.
COA is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Clinton, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties. Calling COA links people to a wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.
The COA’s Clinton County Resource Center is located at 2333 Rombach Avenue in Wilmington, with a phone number of 937-449-0642.
Seniors who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic can call 513-721-1025, which is the phone number for COA’s regional headquarters in Cincinnati.