Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a hot destination for tourists and Washingtonians, but for some locals, the public market offers more than just a fun place to spend the day. Tucked away under the famous Public Market Center clock and sign, the Pike Market Senior Center (PMSC) offers services for seniors who need a meal, or a helping hand. For 38 years, the center has served low-income or homeless seniors in the Pike St. neighborhood. PMSC serves more than 1,400 seniors every year who participate in the meal program, learn about nutrition, enjoy cooking/dance classes or go on day trips.
The senior center’s kitchen is one of the busiest in the Market, serving two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) seven days a week—that’s more than 4,800 meals a year! The meals particularly benefit disabled and homeless seniors who make up over half of the center’s membership. Each meal is carefully planned and crafted, ensuring that ⅔ of the daily nutrition allowance is reached by eating two meals from the center. Most older adults are drawn to the center because of the meal program but eventually become members as they learn about the center’s other offerings, such as poker tournaments, a book exchange, ladies retreats and an annual summer picnic to encourage socialization.
“We’re here. [We are] a vibrant, welcoming place that cares about the whole person,” said Zoë Freeman, Wellness Engagement Coordinator. Zoë recently celebrated her 25th year of serving the PMSC’s mission and members.
Member Services Coordinator Charlette Duckett strives to engage and involve seniors through social activities or social services, creating a strong sense of community. Additionally, three full-time social workers work with seniors to find or keep housing, access medical care and assist with other social services through the Social Services and Resident Advocacy program.
Through all of their support, the PMSC team makes sure that all older adults, regardless of income or background, have a safe and healthy place to spend their day.
“Pike Market Senior Center strives to make each day better and safer for older adults; the Pike Market Food Bank serves people of all ages who face hunger. Together, we provide services, activities, and support that lead to more self sufficient and fulfilling lives.” - Pike Market Senior Center Mission