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For Release:
August 04, 2009

Heather Howard

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(609) 984-7160

Recovery Act Funding Supports Opening of State’s Newest Senior Nutrition Site in Camden County


CAMDEN –Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard today congratulated Camden County and City officials for opening a new senior nutrition meal site, a launch made possible through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding.


In the spring, the State received more than $2.6 million in ARRA funding to support an expansion of senior nutrition services statewide.  Camden County used part of its share of $150,349 to establish its eighth congregate meal site, this one in the community center at the Riverview Tower Apartments in Camden City.  The site, which served its first meal May 26 and celebrated its grand opening today, now serves about 30 seniors five nutritious midday meals each week.


“With this economy hurting retirees and with more frail seniors opting to remain at home with services rather than move into long-term care facilities, the demand for both congregate and home delivered meals is at an all-time high in New Jersey,” said Gov. Corzine. “These additional federal funds are being put to good – and immediate – use.”


“New Jersey’s Senior Nutrition Program is an important resource for seniors and for those agencies that stand ready to serve them,” said Commissioner Howard.  “The program helps seniors maintain a healthy diet, of course, but it also serves as the gateway to other services seniors can access to stay independent and safe in their homes and communities.”


New Jersey’s Senior Nutrition Program, which has congregate and home delivered meal components, currently provides 6 million meals to 63,000 seniors each year.  Congregate meals are those provided in a central location such as a senior center or community hall.  Home delivered meals are reserved for those who cannot leave their homes due to failing health.


“Our goal of serving tens of thousands of meals to an additional 3,000 seniors this year through ARRA funding is being realized today in congregate meal sites like the new one in Camden and in the kitchens of homebound seniors statewide,” said Howard.


          Governor Corzine announced receipt of ARRA funding in mid-May.  The funding is part of $100 million being made available for senior nutrition services nationwide by the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Nationally, ARRA is providing $65 million for congregate meals, $32 million for home delivered meals and $3 million for Native American nutrition programs.


Of the ARRA nutrition funds distributed to New Jersey, the 21 county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have received $1.7 million to be used for congregate nutrition programs and $914,259 for home delivered meals.  The funding distributed to each AAA was made in accordance with a formula developed and implemented by the AoA.

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