Lowey Joins Meals on Wheels of Rockland for Deliveries

July 10, 2017
Press Release
Trump Budget Would Jeopardize 4,000 Meals & Services for 450+ Homebound Seniors & 500+ Seniors at Activity Centers; Lowey Fighting to Save Meals as Spending Bills Come to Committee in Days Ahead

** Video from Lowey’s Deliveries here **

Haverstraw, NY -- Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) rode along with Meals on Wheels of Rockland for deliveries today to highlight meal services that could be eliminated if Congressional Republicans enact President 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, before beginning the route to deliver meals. “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.”

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 6 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.”

Howard Phillips, Supervisor of the Town of Haverstraw, said, “I applaud the Congresswoman for supporting this vital program for families who have fallen on difficult times and seniors who cannot afford proper meals. Having personally delivered Meals on Wheels to local residents over the last 25 years, I know that just having the human contact is important, and they are extremely appreciative of the nutritious meals delivered to their doors.” 

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. 

These 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.   Statewide, nearly 30% of our seniors live in or near poverty, nearly 27% live alone, and 16% 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.

Lowey is the highest ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, which this week will begin consideration of the bills that include funding for the federal programs that support Meals on Wheels, which the President proposed cutting.  She will fight to protect CDBG in the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee bill on Tuesday evening and Older American Act initiatives, including congregate and home delivered meals, in subcommittee consideration of the Labor-Health-Education spending bill on Thursday.

Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, and Meals on Wheels of Rockland President/CEO Don Hammond discussed the importance of maintaining federal funding for Meals on Wheels.

Lowey, Hammond, and volunteer drivers delivered meals to local seniors and discussed their efforts to protect this vital initiative.   

# # #