On Monday, May 6, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) visited Interfaith Neighbors, which operates a Meals on Wheels program in Asbury Park that has been strained due to the federal across the board budget cuts known as the sequester. Pallone called for a complete reversal of the cuts and noted their impact on the elderly, infirmed and homebound.
"Cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels are a perfect example of why Republican approach to indiscriminate, blind cuts are such a bad idea," said Pallone. "Meals on Wheels addresses the very serious issue of hunger in our communities, enabling seniors to live longer in their homes by proving food and companionship. Limiting the ability of Meals on Wheels to provide those in need with food is unconscionable. Congress must fully repeal these destructive cuts and work on an approach to fix our deficit sensibly."
Meals on Wheels offers seniors better health through the combination of a hot, nutritious meal and an opportunity for companionship. Interfaith Neighbors' Meals on Wheels program is funded through U.S. Department of Agriculture reimbursements, Monmouth County grants, and donations. Interfaith serves nearly 400,000 meals per year and, as a result of the federal budget cuts, will provide 32,000 fewer meals to seniors.
The meals are nutritionally well balanced and planned by a registered dietitian on staff. The meals are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m., and a limited weekend and holiday meal program is provided for the most needy and frail homebound seniors who have no one else to care for them. Meals on Wheels serves seniors over the age of sixty and a limited number of younger disabled persons as well.
Interfaith Neighbors, Inc. is a non-profit New Jersey Corporation, supported by over 90 religious congregations of all denominations plus hundreds of private donors as well as corporations, charitable gift trusts and foundations.
Congressman Pallone voted against the sequester, a set of indiscriminate federal budget cuts that went into effect March 1.