PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. – The Passaic County Division of Nutrition Services has received a $2,500 grant from Meals On Wheels America to assist its client pet support program.
The money will be used to provide food, supplies and care for Meals on Wheels clients with pets, all of which can be financially and physically burdensome.
“Division of Nutrition Services provides meals to the neediest, most frail and vulnerable seniors,” said Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director TJ Best. “Many of these seniors have household pets for companionship and because of living on a fixed income it can be difficult to provide their pets with food and supplies, especially if there is an unexpected expense elsewhere.”
A report from 2014 shows seniors with pets are 36 percent less likely to report loneliness and have 21 percent fewer doctor visits, providing emotional and physical benefits on top of the financial benefits.
The money is made possible in part through a donation from Banfield Charitable Trust, who in October 2015, handed over all funding and grants administration responsibilities for its popular Pet Assistance Grant Program to Meals on Wheels America. To date, the grant program has distributed more than $2.1 million in money and pet food donations to more than 300 local Meals on Wheels programs across the nation. The money provides approximately up to a two-month supply of pet food, treats, litter and flea and tick prevention to current Meals on Wheels recipients.
“The Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative is just another way that Meals on Wheels can deliver so much more than just a meal,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “Through grant funding, educational opportunities and in-kind donations for our member programs we hope to grow current pet programs and help those looking to start new ones.”
The mission of the Passaic County Division of Senior Services is to provide nutritious meals and other supportive services to both congregate and home-delivered recipients to maintain and improve their health status and independence.
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