Image: Tom Cook

Settled just outside the bustling business district of Vancouver, Washington is a new undeniably noticeable, first-of-its-kind, mission-driven restaurant --The Diner Vancouver. It’s not only the restaurant’s neon sign, locally sourced ingredients, and retro look that are reasons to take pause. Brainchild of strategic visionary and Meals on Wheels People CEO, Suzanne Washington, The Diner Vancouver creates financial sustainability for the local nonprofit that provides 1.2 million meals annually to older adults in the Portland-metro area. All proceeds from the restaurant directly benefit Meals on Wheels People.

Image: Tom Cook

With consideration for the ever-changing needs of the older adult population at the forefront, Washington is ensuring Meals on Wheels People continues to evolve to make the greatest, life-changing impact on the people it serves. 

“This entrepreneurial venture creates a sense of community through food by uniting people of all ages, while also diversifying funding and providing sustainability for our organization,” said Washington.

Image: Tom Cook

Welcoming people of all ages, The Diner Vancouver offers older adults in the Meals on Wheels People program more options for when and where they dine, in addition to the opportunity for intergenerational interaction--critical to the health and wellbeing of older adults.  While The Diner Vancouver offers a robust menu with traditional diner fare including burgers, sandwiches, shakes--and breakfast served all day, adults 60 and older enrolled in the Meals on Wheels People “Diner Club,” can order from a second, donation-based menu that meets specific dietary requirements.

Image: Tom Cook

“Intergenerational interactions have proven to alleviate social isolation, reduce the effects of depression and, in turn, improve the quality of life of older adults,” said Washington. “We believe that The Diner Vancouver will not only be a place where all generations feel welcome but will provide another opportunity in which older adults feel a greater sense of belonging.” 

This is Meals on Wheels People’s first venture into the restaurant industry; however the restaurant adds to the growing number of entrepreneurial ventures launched since Washington assumed leadership in 2014 including PDXPOP, an in-house popcorn company.

Open to the public from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, The Diner Vancouver is located at 5303 E. Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, WA.

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