TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey taxpayers could soon be able to help provide assistance for the elderly, frail, or homebound faced with food insecurity. On Monday, the Assembly Human Services Committee approved a pair of bills that would establish the “Meals on Wheels in New Jersey Fund” to allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions through their state tax return.
According to Meals on Wheels for America, eight out of 10 low-income, food insecure seniors are not receiving needed meals. Money collected through these contributions would benefit local, independently-run New Jersey chapters of Meals on Wheels.
Currently, taxpayers can opt to donate a portion of their state tax return to more than 25 non-profit organizations. Typically, these donations are estimated to generate about $700,000 for various causes.
State representatives for Hamilton and Robbinsville, Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Dan Benson, are sponsors of the measure.
“About 20,000 seniors in New Jersey depend on meal delivery programs to have access to nutritious, hot meals that help them lead healthy lives. Without Meals on Wheels, many seniors – particularly those over age 75 – would face the threat of hunger,” said DeAngelo.
“The core mission of Meals on Wheels is to ensure no senior ever goes hungry because they are unable to cook, go grocery shopping or afford healthy food, but Meals on Wheels is also about so much more. Volunteers perform a safety check for seniors while delivery meals, and offer companionship and comfort.
It is estimated that nearly 9.5 million seniors nationwide are threatened by hunger.
The bills are scheduled for a vote before the full General Assembly on Monday.
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