Funds from City Council will support home delivered meals program across the city

Department for the Aging’s community-based partners will be able to use the funds to replace 44 hotshot vans used for meal deliveries

City Hall, NY – New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and Council Members have announced a $3.08 million allocation to the Department for the Aging’s (DFTA) community-based partners for repair and replacement of an estimated 44 hotshot vans for the City’s home delivered meals program. The program serves millions of meals annually to older adults, who are homebound due to health or physical challenges. The meals are reviewed by registered dietitians to ensure they are nutritionally balanced.

“Our seniors are the jewels of our communities who deserve to be supported with nutritious home-delivered meals,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The City Council prioritized investing $3 million of its funds to help community-based partners continue delivering meals in a safe and timely manner. It is critical that our city meets the needs of older adults, and this funding will contribute to the vital services for homebound New Yorkers. I am proud to join my colleagues in celebrating this important allocation by the City Council in the city budget.”

“For over 30 years, the home delivered meals program has provided hot, nutritious meals to our most vulnerable older adults across the five boroughs. Even at the height of the pandemic, program staff and volunteers never stopped delivering meals,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “I’m pleased that the funding we are announcing today will provide the vehicles necessary for this program to continue serving older New Yorkers for years to come. This is another step in creating a more equitable city we can all be proud to live in, and age together in.”  

“Our local partners throughout the city have been doing an incredible job making sure homebound older adults receive the meals they need, and this allocation from the City Council will ensure they have the equipment necessary to continue their services,” said Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “The home delivered meals program has been essential to making sure residents can age in dignity, and this allocation helps ensure we can continue our mission.”

“Our seniors literally and figuratively built our city and they deserve all the support and the best services we can provide,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Finance. “With this $3.08 million allocation, we are giving our beloved older New Yorkers the opportunity to receive meals at their doorstep so they’ll never have to wonder how or where their next meal is coming from. I am proud to have worked with Speaker Adams and all my colleagues to secure this funding, and I am truly grateful to all the dedicated community-based organizations doing this important work in serving our seniors every single day.” 

“For decades, the City’s home delivered meals program has helped curb food insecurity among older New Yorkers, ensuring access to the nutritious and culturally sensitive meals they deserve,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Aging. “The Council’s successful allocation of more than $3 million to fund the purchase of new delivery vans reaffirms our commitment to older New Yorkers and the organizations that serve them. In addition to guaranteeing an additional $30 million for the meal delivery program itself in this year’s budget, these dozens of new vans will allows us, as a City, to better meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. As the aging population continues to increase, I am committed to strengthening the services, programs, and providers that will help make New York City the best place to grow older in the country, and this is a step toward that goal.”

“Older adults play a vital role in the fabric of our city’s communities. Thousands of our seniors are in need of assistance and that is why the DFTA food delivery program is so important, said Council Member Lynn Schulman, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Health. “As a member of the Council’s Aging Committee, I was proud to fight for the funding that will enable food insecure older adults to receive food deliveries from these hot-shot vans.”

DFTA’s community-based providers have been implementing the home delivered meals program for three-decades. In order to qualify for the program, residents must be 60 years or older, and unable to attend a group or meal program, or prepare their own meals. Before meals are delivered, each candidate is evaluated by a case manager to determine if the individual should be enrolled. In the last Fiscal Year providers delivered nearly four million meals. 

Fourteen DFTA community-based partners have been allocated funds to either replace or repair their hotshot vans. The allocation was based on their current fleets, and the funds will be used for vans that have been in service for 10 years or more. There are currently 239 hotshot vans used by these partners across the five boroughs and they travel along 300 routes every day, accumulating wear and tear that necessitates this funding support. Hotshot vans are specifically designed to transport meals hot, cold or frozen to maintain their integrity and nutritional value.

“It is essential for nonprofits charged with delivering lifesaving meals to older New Yorkers to have reliable vehicles. Hotshots are an essential part of the city’s Home Delivered Meals program, because they keep meals at safe temperatures during delivery. Many of our City’s Hotshots have experienced wear-and-tear due to the millions of deliveries we make each year. Encore Community Services commends the City Council and DFTA for making this important investment in older adults and the HDM program,” said Jeremy L. Kaplan, Executive Director, Encore Community Services.

“This generous allocation demonstrates the commitment of DFTA and the City Council to supporting the thousands of New Yorkers who want to live engaged lives in their communities as they age. The meals that homebound clients receive are essential as both nutrition and a social safety net. We are so grateful to DFTA and the City Council for their partnership to help us deliver on our shared mission,” said Kathryn Haslanger, CEO of JASA.

“Queens Community House provides meals to over 600 homebound seniors every day, and we are grateful to Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, and Commissioner Cortes-Vazquez for providing these much needed funds for new vehicles” said Ben Thomases, Executive Director of Queens Community House.

“A total of 37 hotshot meal delivery vehicles are being used by Catholic Charities for Meals on Wheels Delivery. Our fleet is providing a much-needed nutritional meals to vulnerable seniors in Queens communities.  Most of vehicles are over 8 years old and 4 of them much older than 10 years. Replacing aging vehicles currently in use can help our services to improve nutritional efforts to bring food directly to seniors homes in any weather, keep seniors connected, safe and happy in their communities” said Samira Alieva, Vice-President of Older Adult Services, Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services Inc.