Coastline is thrilled to announce it has begun serving breakfast to older residents living in Tripp Towers in the South End of New Bedford.

The aging services organization added the meal to Tripp Tower’s regular lineup of weekday lunches in late February, with plans for an official opening on March 21. Coastline’s goal is to create more opportunities for residents to come together over a shared meal and ultimately, to improve their well-being and quality of life.

“We believe by increasing opportunities for residents to socialize it gives them a greater sense of community; it helps improve relationships; and it encourages people to start looking after each other,” said Philip Beard, Nutrition Program Director for Coastline. “After COVID, we needed a way to get people together. This was another opportunity.”

To make that happen, breakfasts will not be served individually, Beard said, but will be available as a group experience anytime between 8 and 9:30 a.m. three days a week. Residents can show up within that time period on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, and receive a meal.

Like lunch meals, breakfast options will be nutritionally balanced, with all the components of a healthy meal available for selection.

Coastline had hoped to begin group breakfasts a few years ago, but COVID-19 disrupted everything and the plan was shelved. It was revived recently thanks to a generous $10,000 donation from Senior Whole Health by Molina HealthCare.

“Senior Whole Health’s gift will make a significant difference in the lives of Tripp Tower residents,” said Justin Lees, Coastline CEO. “In 2022, Coastline served 434,000 meals in the South Coast and every meal we served came with a chance for a connection with another human being. We know what Senior Whole Health knows, that the benefits of bringing people together over a shared meal — of not eating alone in your room — can make lives better.”

The impact of the new program will be tracked by Coastline to determine if it is successful.

“We’ve set some very important goals, attendance goals,” said Beard. “We’re hoping that we can show at the close of the fiscal year that there’s been a number of people who have attended a targeted number of times.”

Tripp Towers is a New Bedford Housing Authority property with 202 apartments for the elderly in the South End of the city.