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Press Release

Publish Date: 1/12/2016

Increased Funding Allows Office For Aging To Take Seniors Off Meals Waiting List

Montgomery County Increases Appropriations For OFA to $247,000 In 2016 Budget

FONDA - The Montgomery County Office for Aging, Inc., received a 12 percent increase in funding in the 2016 Montgomery County Budget. OFA saw an increase to $247,000 in appropriations approved by the County Legislature and County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort. The 2016 Montgomery County budget was adopted on October 6.

Due to that budget increase, the agency recently announced plans to take a significant amount of seniors off of its home-delivered meals waiting list. OFA provides meals to eligible seniors through its Meals of Montgomery program. The cost of providing one senior a meal, five days a week for an entire year is approximately $2,000. The extra money will help to take 10-15 people off of the current wait list.

"I applaud the work of Executive Director Dave Jordan and the rest of his team at the Office for Aging," Ossenfort said. "They maximize every dollar they receive and time and time again, they are able to accomplish more for this community and its seniors."

"The Office for Aging has done a great job of balancing rising costs with continuing to provide essential services for our seniors," said Legislative Chairman Terry A. Bieniek (District 5). "The meals program can help keep seniors in their homes and provide them with a nutritious meal that they may not otherwise get. This modest budget increase gives more resources to the agency and allows it to provide vital services to more residents in the county."

The OFA currently has a significant waiting list for its home-delivered meals program. This increase in appropriations from the county, the first substantial increase OFA has received in seven years, will help take 10-15 seniors off of that list. In 2015, OFA received $220,000, the same amount it received back in 2009. Montgomery County has an aging population and is one of the oldest counties in New York State per capita. At approximately 24 percent of the total county population, Montgomery County had the third highest rate of adults age 60 or older of all counties in the state. In addition, Montgomery County has the second highest rate in the state of adults age 60 and older living at or below the poverty level.

"The increased funding to the Office for Aging is certainly money that will be put to good use," said Legislator Ryan B. Weitz (District 4). "We must make our best efforts to ensure that every senior in our community has a fresh meal daily - a waiting list for meals is simply unacceptable. Additionally, these day-to-day interactions are crucially important, as they sometimes are the only socialization for older residents who are homebound."

The Montgomery County Office for Aging is one of only four in New York State that is not run by the county. The OFA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3). The agency's mission is the commitment to serve Montgomery County senior citizens and their families by helping the elderly to maintain their independence and quality of life.

While the OFA is not a county run agency, it depends on local funding to receive state and federal monies. The local share of funding has allowed the OFA to either increase or maintain current service levels for their in-home services. Due to rate increases each year, this is not always possible and often services have to be cut.

"The commitment from the Montgomery County Executive and Legislature to our agency and to the seniors of the county is one that should be commended," said Montgomery County Office for Aging Executive Director Dave Jordan. "This increased funding will have a direct effect on the services that our agency is able to provide."

The OFA recently concluded its "40 for 40" campaign, a year-long celebration of the agency's 40th year of providing critical services to seniors in the local community. The OFA is always looking for volunteers. Anyone interested can call (518) 843-2300.