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Article updated: 10/7/2012 1:51 PM

Golden Diners program gets boost with Elgin partnership

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Employee Leslie Thomas of Elgin says his work with the program has opened his eyes to how many seniors live, and he gets satisfaction from the connections he makes.

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

Golden Diners employees Yolanda Cruz, left, Raquel Herrera, chef Alex Modaff and Soni Stevens prepare meals on an assembly line. The hot meals are placed on a conveyor, which seals them in plastic before they are boxed up for delivery. Modaff is from Batavia; the others are from Elgin.

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

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Volunteers and employees at the Salvation Army Golden Diners program fill lunch sacks with sandwiches at the Hemmens Cultural Center in downtown Elgin. From left are Leslie Thomas of Elgin, Sue Feikema of West Dundee, and Frank Plushkis and Gordon Roe, both of Elgin.

Photos by Christopher Hankins/chankins@dailyherald

The Salvation Army Golden Diners program's new chef, Alex Modaff, pours cans of pickled beets into a tray before heating them in the kitchen at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. The program just shifted from paying an outside vendor to prepare the meals to cooking its own. The move will save $200,000 a year.

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

About this Article

When Salvation Army Major Ken Nicolai had to consider starting a waiting list for seniors interested in daily hot meals from the Golden Diners program, he decided a program overhaul was a better option. The Salvation Army Golden Diners Program now cooks its own meals out of a central kitchen at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, saving $200,000 per year, allowing it to serve more seniors in Kane and McHenry counties and providing new opportunities for interested volunteers.
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    • Employee Leslie Thomas of Elgin says his work with the program has opened his eyes to how many seniors live, and he gets satisfaction from the connections he makes.
    •  Golden Diners employees Yolanda Cruz, left, Raquel Herrera, chef Alex Modaff and Soni Stevens prepare meals on an assembly line. The hot meals are placed on a conveyor, which seals them in plastic before they are boxed up for delivery. Modaff is from Batavia; the others are from Elgin.
    •  Volunteers and employees at the Salvation Army Golden Diners program fill lunch sacks with sandwiches at the Hemmens Cultural Center in downtown Elgin. From left are Leslie Thomas of Elgin, Sue Feikema of West Dundee, and Frank Plushkis and Gordon Roe, both of Elgin.
    •  The Salvation Army Golden Diners programís new chef, Alex Modaff, pours cans of pickled beets into a tray before heating them in the kitchen at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. The program just shifted from paying an outside vendor to prepare the meals to cooking its own. The move will save $200,000 a year.
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