ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey rode along with Meals on Wheels of Rockland for deliveries Monday to highlight meal services that could be eliminated if Congressional Republicans enact President Donald Trump's budget proposals.
“I’ll fight the cuts President Trump proposed to Meals on Wheels because letting our seniors go hungry just isn’t an option,” said Lowey, (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester). “It makes economic sense to invest in these programs that support seniors in their own homes and keep them out of the hospital, where one day costs the same as one year of Meals on Wheels services. I’ll fight tooth and nail in my committee this week to save Meals on Wheels.”
President Trump’s budget request would:
- Cut funding for congregate meals by $2 million;
- Decrease funding for home delivered meals by $1 million; and
- Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which provides significant funding to Meals on Wheels, including $25,000 for Meals on Wheels of Rockland.
The cuts could result in 4,000 fewer meals delivered to Rockland seniors and jeopardize funding for services for 450 homebound seniors and 500 individuals attending senior activity centers, Lowey said.
Statewide, nearly 30 percent of seniors live in or near poverty, nearly 27 percent live alone, and 16 percent struggle with hunger. In 2016 alone, Meals on Wheels served 174,276 New York seniors and 22,383,489 meals, which are at risk for the coming year.
Don Hammond, CEO/president of Meals on Wheels of Rockland, said, “In Rockland County, we have had over 6,000 new seniors in the last six years with that number projected to keep growing. The President’s budget puts thousands of seniors in danger locally by not giving us the resources to meet their basic food needs.”
Lowey, who is the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said consideration of the bills that include funding for the federal programs such as Meals on Wheels begins this week.
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