Menendez Delivers ‘Meals on Wheels’ to NJ Seniors

Menendez Delivers ‘Meals on Wheels’ to NJ Seniors

Trump budget cuts would eviscerate ‘Meals on Wheels’ funding, leave many vulnerable seniors hungry, without daily home visit

 
WESTWOOD, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today delivered Meals on Wheels to vulnerable New Jersey seniors living in Bergen County to highlight the importance of this vital program facing the Trump budget ax.  Meals on Wheels programs serve more than 5 million American seniors, including tens of thousands in New Jersey, and depend on federal funding to continue operation. 

“Meals on Wheels is a lifeline for our most vulnerable seniors, especially those living alone or on fixed incomes.  Often, it’s the only daily meal they get,” said Sen. Menendez.  “Eliminating funding for Meals on Wheels would literally take the food off the table for thousands of New Jersey seniors.  It is a vital program that is now on life support thanks to President Trump and his out-of-whack budget priorities that ignore the needs of our seniors.  I will fight to protect federal funding for Meals on Wheels to ensure our seniors can live a life of dignity.”  

Sen. Menendez delivers Meals on Wheels to 79-year-old Alice Gerehty of Hillsdale

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Sen. Menendez joined volunteers from Meals on Wheels North Jersey on home visits to seniors living in Westwood, Hillsdale and Emerson. 

“Even though many of our clients pay for their meals, the full pay price of $7.35 for two meals does not cover the entire cost of providing our service,” said Jeanne E. Martin, executive director of Meals on Wheels North Jersey.  “Thanks to the support we receive from various sources, including CDBG funding, we have not had to pass cost increases onto our clients.  We have not increased our rate since 2009.”

 


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Nationally, 35% of the budgets for Meals on Wheels programs rely on federal funding from the Older Americans Act (OAA) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Community Services and Community Development Block Grants (CSBG and CDBG) under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Meals on Wheels by the Numbers

  • 54,034 – Total New Jersey seniors served by Meals on Wheels programs:
    • 24,224 of these meals are delivered at home
    • 29,810 served in congregate settings
    • 5,087,990 – Total American seniors served by Meals on Wheels programs:
      • 3,486,404 of these are delivered at home
      • 1,601,586 served in congregate settings
      • $14.2 million – Total Federal OAA dollars to New Jersey, out of $40.7 million in total nutrition program expenditures in the state

Sen. Menendez thanked Meals on Wheels North Jersey volunteers for their service

President Trump’s proposed budget calls for an 18% funding cut to HHS and the elimination of the CDBG program.  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney indicated that Meals on Wheels was not a funding priority.

“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Dir. Mulvaney said last week in announcing the proposed budget.  “We’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show they actually deliver the promises we’ve made to people.”

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