• Last modified 614 days ago (Sept. 5, 2019)


New cook without power third day on the job

Staff writer

Kathy Bernhardt had cooked just two meals at Marion Senior Center when she was faced with a power outage Friday. She started Aug. 28.

Bernhardt said losing power was no big deal.

“We just took what we had here and made do,” she said.

She served bologna and Swiss cheese sandwiches, chips, and a cucumber, onion, and tomato salad. Fruit and leftover blueberry crumble from Thursday also were offered.

People who get meals on wheels received the same menu except for the blueberry crumble.

“So far, so good,” she said when asked how it was going. “They tell me they are enjoying it. I don’t know if they really are or if they are saying it to keep me here.”

Bernhardt said she had 10 days of training, seven at Peabody and three at Hillsboro.

She is learning to use the new equipment and where things are stored. Having everything ready to serve at the same time is the biggest challenge, she said.

She is paid for five hours a day.

Bernhardt said she applied for the job because she is retired and knew she could do it.

“They needed a cook, and my mother enjoyed meals on wheels,” she said. “I don’t even know what I’ll be paid. The pay may be lousy, but I didn’t take the job for the pay.”

The 71-year-old cook worked for Kansas Department of Transportation in Marion until she retired in 2010. Her husband, Sam, is a truck driver for Stan Williams. They have been married 52 years.

They have two children — Connie Bernhardt of Florence and Jason Bernhardt of Marion — and three grandchildren.

Last modified Sept. 5, 2019