Bank matches donations for pay-what-you-want lunch concept

Without a doubt, the power lunch place to be in Monroe County last week was the Paris Senior Center.

TPNB Bank offered a “lunch on us” for community members by matching dollar-for-dollar what people paid for lunch.

Courtney Jones, TPNB vice president, said the free lunch concept was a first, and the bank wanted to see if it would produce results.

According to Tara Garside, director of the Paris Senior Center, the week was a smashing success. Each day, the center was packed from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with diners, and long lines of people for take-out orders.

The result was more than 1,300 people through the doors, generating $13,674 for the Senior Center — $6,837 from the bank, matching the same amount donated by diners.

“What TPNB Bank has done for our Senior Center and the whole community is simply amazing,” Garside said. “Thank you just doesn’t even seem like enough”

It is the hope of the Paris Senior Center that everyone enjoyed their meals and socializing with people in the community. We hope that the community is now more aware of the services we offer and they all realize that you don’t have to be a senior citizen to eat with us. Always remember the great home-cooked meals you received because of the generosity of TPNB and please come and enjoy more meals with us again.”

The Paris Senior Center offers activities and meals for senior citizens – and the community. Lunch is available to people over 60 years old for a $4 donation, while all others are asked to pay $7 per meal. The Center also provides Meals on Wheels to those who are home-bound and 60 years of age or older, and people under age 60 who are disabled and home-bound around Monroe County.

Jones said that the bank is a longtime supporter of the Senior Center.

“The heartbeat of our organization is the customers we are privileged to serve,” she said. “This year we decided to do something different to show our appreciation. With each free meal being matched by a donation from the bank, everyone was able to give back one meal at a time. We have had the opportunity to serve the area for over 150 years and the Senior Center is an important part of the Paris community. By providing a week of meals we were hoping to bring people into the center who hadn’t been in a while or ever, to see what the Senior Center had to offer.”

The bank plans to present a $6,837 donation to the center this week.